‘Blood-oozing’ fungus and a cranefly in disguise: Bizarre woodland nature revealed

If you happen to go right down to the woods at present, you may see a fungus which oozes “blood” or a beetle that lives in a cocoon constructed from its personal dung.

The Woodland Trust has launched an inventory of a few of the strange wildlife that may be present in British woods, because it requires motion to guard the habitat.

They vary from a smelly, phallic-shaped fungus that some Victorians attacked with cudgels as they had been embarrassed by it, to geese that nest in bushes, and a cranefly that makes use of a “wasp” disguise.

The record has been revealed after a current report from the charity confirmed that woodland wildlife is declining and solely 7% of woodlands within the nation are in good ecological situation.

Goldeneye (John Bridges/WTML/PA)

Alastair Hotchkiss, conservation adviser on the Woodland Belief, mentioned: “Now greater than ever earlier than, with the local weather change and biodiversity crises, do we have to defend and restore the UK’s pure environments.

“These 10 species are simply the tip of the iceberg – or the mushroom poking up from the soil’s huge mycelial net – of secrets and techniques that our woodland habitats maintain.

“Each species can inform us a narrative, every part has a task to play, and we have now a lot nonetheless to study. We should do our greatest to verify we don’t lose them.”

The ten examples of strange woodland wildlife are:

– Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus): This pungent fungus is often smelt earlier than it’s seen, however its phallic form so embarrassed some Victorians that they attacked it with cudgels.

It was utilized in medieval instances as a remedy for gout and a love potion, whereas newer scientific proof factors to potential medicinal use for venous thrombosis.

Stinkhorn (John Bridges/WTML/PA)

Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula): A duck that nests in pure cavities or outdated woodpecker nests up in bushes, primarily across the Cairngorms in Scotland.

Its nesting technique means day-old chicks should hurl themselves – like James Bond’s leap off the dam within the opening scene of the movie Goldeneye – from as excessive as 30ft up the tree whereas their mom calls encouragement.

– String-of-sausages lichen (Usnea articulata): This lichen resembles a miniature string of sausages, and has anti-cancer properties.

As this can be very delicate to air air pollution, it’s primarily restricted to cleaner areas reminiscent of Dartmoor in Devon and south-west Wales, the place “fairy butcher retailers” are draped over the branches of bushes.

String of sausage lichen (Al Hotchkiss/Woodland Belief/PA)

– The beefsteak fungus (Fistulina hepatica): This woodland fungus has the looks of a uncooked lower of meat, and even oozes a blood-like substance when lower.

The fungus is an “ecosystem engineer”, hollowing out historical bushes and leaving the rot inside to offer meals to bugs and fungi, and holes for nesting birds.

– Knothole yoke-moss (Zygodon forsteri): This globally uncommon moss solely survives at three websites in Britain, residing within the water-filled rot holes of outdated residing bushes reminiscent of historical beech pollards within the New Forest, Epping and Burnham Beeches close to London.

The Woodland Belief says the moss is an effective instance of how defending historical and veteran bushes helps a bunch of different wildlife.

Hazel pot beetle (Trevor Pendleton/PA)

– Hazel pot beetle (Cryptocephalus coryli): This is among the UK’s rarest bugs and Sherwood Forest, the legendary house of Robin Hood, is among the solely recognized remaining websites for the as soon as widespread beetle.

It creates a pot or cocoon to put eggs and hold larvae in that it has created utilizing its personal faeces.

– Eagle’s claw lichen (Anaptychia ciliaris): This lichen, which seems to be just like the talons of an eagle clinging to a tree trunk, was hit by the lack of elms to Dutch elm illness, in addition to air air pollution.

It now faces the lack of bushes to ash dieback, and is restricted to just some spots primarily in south-west England and the Welsh borders.

Wasp banded comb horn (Paul Williams/PA)

– Wasp banded comb horn (Ctenophora flaveolata): This innocent species of cranefly mimics one thing extra like a wasp that would carry a nasty sting and is present in outdated wooded landscapes the place its larvae dwell within the decaying wooden in large, outdated bushes.

It’s scarce in England and even rarer in Wales, the place it’s a precedence for conservation motion.

– Lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros): This bat likes the quilt and the abundance of its prey – small moths, midges and mosquitos – in woods.

However not like many bats which roost inside bushes, horseshoes primarily roost in caves, mines and stately properties in well-wooded landscapes, hanging Dracula-style with their wings wrapped round their our bodies.

Lesser horseshoe bat (Alastair Hotchkiss/Woodland Belief/PA)

– Misleading featherwort (Pseudomarsupidium decipiens): This shiny liverwort grows in free cushions on the facet of rocks in very humid or boulder-strewn woodlands in western Britain and Eire.

The British localities of the species – which can also be discovered within the tropics – are its most northerly websites, present in our uncommon temperate rainforests that are below a large number of threats, from air air pollution to invasive rhododendron.

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