Rare mushroom back in the Netherlands

Omphalina demissa, photo by Nico Dam

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society:

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

The number of mushroom species known in the Netherlands is growing steadily. In the last edition of 2013 of the Standard list of Dutch Mushrooms more than 5,000 species mushroom listed, up from around 3500 in the previous edition in 1995. However, there also seem to be species disappearing from our country. Species that are well known in our country, but which have not been seen since 1988, are in the category “Disappeared” on the Red List of 2008.

Disappeared and returned

An example is Omphalina demissa. Also on the online distribution atlas there are no recent sightings of this species. Last weekend, however, it was found again, in two lanes on the estate De Wiersse between Vorden and Ruurlo. In both cases, some specimens were growing right along a little used dirt road flanked by deciduous trees.

Spoonbill and parasol mushrooms of Vlieland island

Spoonbill, 28 September 2015

After 27 September came 28 September 2015 on Vlieland. This photo shows a spoonbill we saw that day, feeding in shallow Wadden Sea water just south of the island.

Before we saw that spoonbill, as we woke up, a robin sang.

In the Wadden Sea shallow water: curlew, oystercatcher, redshank.

Spoonbill in Wadden Sea, 28 September 2015

And then, the already mentioned spoonbill. That bird was late for the time of the year; many spoonbills having already gone to Africa on their autumn migration.

We went north, to the North Sea.

Parasol mushroom, 28 September 2015

In the sand dunes, a parasol mushroom.

On jetties protruding from the beach: many herring gulls. And oystercatchers, ruddy turnstones, carrion crows, and great cormorants.

Dead great cormorant, 28 September 2015

On the beach, a dead great cormorant. A young bird, as its white breast feathers showed. Its neck buried in the sand.

Parasol mushrooms, 28 September 2015

As we went back, more parasol mushrooms, of various sizes and ages.

Amethyst deceivers, fly agarics and woodpecker of Vlieland

Amethyst deceiver fungus, Vlieland, 27 September 2015

After the birds of the morning of 27 September on Vlieland island, in the afternoon we went again to the forest north of the village. Where these young amethyst deceiver fungi grew.

Amethyst deceiver fungi, Vlieland, 27 September 2015

Russula sp., 27 September 2015

As we continued, a beautiful red mushroom. Probably one of many Russula species.

Fly agarics, 27 September 2015

A bit further, more red mushrooms, easier to recognize: fly agarics.

Torenvijver, Vlieland, 27 September 2015

Next, the Torenvijver pond. Pictured on this photo; the only one on this blog post not made with a macro lens, but with a wide-angle lens.

This is video about the Torenvijver in May 2012, with much sound by many edible frogs.

When we were there, the pond was much more silent. Just three mallards, two males and one female, swimming.

Yellow stagshorn, 27 September 2015

As we continued, there was this yellow stagshorn fungus along the footpath.

A great spotted woodpecker calls.

Bolete, 27 September 2015

A big bolete fungus, looking like a slug has already eaten part of it.

Shaggy ink cap, 27 September 2015

Shaggy ink cap.

Sulphur tufts, Vlieland, 27 September 2015

Sulphur tufts on an old tree stump.

Sulphur tufts, on Vlieland, 27 September 2015

A dead wood mouse on the footpath.

Vlieland fungi and birds

This video is about Vlieland.

After 25 September, 26 September 2015 was our second day on Vlieland island. We did not only see Slauerhoff’s poetry then.

Early in the morning, a robin singing.

Curlew and redshank sounds from the Wadden Sea not far away.

In the afternoon, we went to the forested area north of the village.

Many fungi, including shaggy ink cap.

White saddle fungi, 26 September 2015

And these white saddle fungi. Like the other photos on this blog post, this is a macro lens photo.

Mycena species, 26 September 2015

And these fungi: about same colour, but different species, much smaller.

Great spotted woodpecker sound.

In the sand dunes close to the North Sea beach, big parasol mushrooms.

On the North sea jetties: herring gulls, ruddy turnstones, oystercatchers, a red knot.

European searocket flowers on the beach.

Common puffballs, 26 September 2015

Back to the forest. These common puffballs grew there.

Fungus, 26 September 2015

And this mushroom.

Bolete, 26 September 2015

And this young bolete.

Sulphur tufts, 26 September 2015

Finally, these young sulphur tufts.

Back in the village. A male chaffinch.

Fungi and grey heron

Heempark, heather, 5 September 2015

On 5 September 2015, to the Heempark. This photo shows a part of it with heather flowering.

Just past the park entrance, a brown roll-rim. A bit further, many other fungi.

A grey heron standing on the rooftop of a small boathouse. One muscovy duck swimming, another one walking.

Rowan trees with berries.

Blusher, Amanita rufescens, 5 September 2015

One mushroom species seems to do well after the rain of previous days: blusher. This photo shows very young specimens.

Blusher, Amanita rufescens, Heempark, 5 September 2015

And this photo shows a bit older, but still not fully grown specimen.

Jay sound. Great spotted woodpecker sound.

After leaving the Heempark, blue chicory flowers along the footpath.

In Oud Poelgeest woodland, sulphur tuft fungi. And more blushers.

Oak tree, Oud Poelgeest, 5 September 2015

This photo shows an oak tree along a canal in Oud Poelgeest.

Reed, 5 September 2015

We walk back to the Heempark. This photo shows reed on the bank of the Heempark pond.

Fungi in Dutch Drenthe province: here.

Kingfisher and brimstone butterfly

Brimstone butterfly, 29 August 2015

This photo shows a male brimstone butterfly in the gardens of Sperwershof in ‘s Graveland in the Netherlands. We went there on 29 August 2015.

Before we arrived there, a group of white wagtails on a meadow. And grey lag geese.

A bit further, a kingfisher fishing in a ditch.

A dragonfly sitting on a pole: a male vagrant darter, aka moustached darter?

Brimstone butterfly, on 29 August 2015

As I said, at the Sperwershof a brimstone butterfly.

This is a brimstone butterfly video.

As we go back, nuthatch sound.

Along the bicycle track, big parasol mushrooms grow. Also about parasol mushrooms: here.

Vlieland parasol mushroom photos: here.

Ants’ self-medication, new research

This video says about itself:

Leaf-Cutter Ants Biology 1210 – 2014

2 April 2014

Why do Leaf-Cutter Ants Make Good Farmers?

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ants are able to ‘self-medicate‘ by changing diet when they are unwell in first for insect-kind

Findings of study raise questions over how ants ‘know’ they are sick

Jessica Staufenberg

Saturday 22 August 2015

It appears that ants, usually seen as the ultimate self-sacrificing workers, are also not bad at saving their own skins.

Scientists have shown that ants with a life-threatening fungus are able to “self-medicate”, eating a normally harmful substance that treats the condition.

This form of “self-medication” in insects has been suspected in research circles but has never been proven until now, raising questions about how the ant “knows” it is sick.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland showed that ants infected with the fungus Beauveria bassiana would choose to eat small doses of hydrogen peroxide, which had been proven to reduce their deaths by at least 15 per cent.

The fact that most healthy ants gave the poison a wide berth – since it usually caused a 20 per cent mortality rate – appeared to show that sick ants knew the poison would help them recover.

Depending on how strong the toxic solution was, the infected ants would also either choose to eat the poison as often as normal food, or only a quarter of the time, showing they were “careful” about their selecting their doses.

Nick Bos, one of the researchers, said ants close to death in the wild also seem to know because they often leave the nest to die in isolation.

“It is not known yet how ants know they are infected, but it’s very clear that they do somehow change their behaviour once they are,” he told the New Scientist.

Jessica Abbott of Lund University in Sweden, said the study stood up to scientific scrutiny.

“I think this is good evidence of self-medication,” she told the New Scientist. “They showed that the ants deliberately ingest hydrogen peroxide when infected – and that doing so increases the survival of the ant and decreases the fitness of the parasite.”

The chemicals found in hydrogen peroxide are also present in aphids and decaying dead ants, leading the Finnish team to say ants in the wild may eat these to fight off infection.

David Baracchi of Queen University of London said that social insects in large colonies like ants and bees are vulnerable to disease, and a small percentage increase in survival rates against infection could make a huge difference to a colony.

“It is natural that they have evolved amazing mechanisms to counteract microorganisms, and self-medication is one of those,” said Baracchi. He added it may be a widespread ability in the animal kingdom (a similar phenomenon has already been found in sheep).

This new study was published here.

Why are these ants circling an iPhone?