Worcestershire Record No. 24 April 2008 pp. 27-28


Rosemary Winnall

Mollusc records from Archenhills Wood

Acanthinula aculeata L

Aegopinella nitidula

Aegopinella pura

Ancylus fluviatilis L

Arion ater agg L

Arion distinctus L

Arion distinctus L

Arion intermedius L

Arion subfuscus L

Carychium tridentatum L

Cepaea hortensis

Cepaea nemoralis L

Clausilia bidentata L

Cochlicopa lubrica L

Cochlicopa lubrica seg L

Deroceras reticulatum

Discus rotundatus

Ena obscura

Euconulus fulvus L

Lehmannia marginata L

Limax maximus L

Macrogastra rolphii L

Nesovitrea hammonis L

Oxychilus alliarius

Oxychilus alliarius

Oxychilus cellarius

Oxychilus helveticus

Pisidium nitidum L

Punctum pygmaeum L

Tandonia budapestensis L

Trichia hispida

Vitrea crystallina L

Vitrina pellucida L

(This is a slightly edited version of an article Rosemary wrote for Mollusc World, the newsletter of the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, issue no. 16, March2008. Working together national and local members of this society have gathered many records in Worcestershire in recent years. Ed)

We gathered at the Talbot Inn at Knightwick and it was good to meet friends we had not seen for a while, and to make the acquaintance of new ones! We commiserated with Harry Green who was not well enough to attend and lead the outing this time. We shared cars to drive round to the interesting old and moated Suckley Court, from where we set off over the fields to the oak woodland, with kind permission of the owner Mr. Edward Hollaway. A family of Ravens Corvus corax noted our arrival and watched our progress from their look-out in the tall hedgerow trees.

We gained the edge of the wood and soon unearthed a number of different slugs, which provided discussion about the variation within the taxa and the care required to check for juveniles. Limax maximus, Deroceras reticulatum, Tandonia budapestensis, Lehmannia marginata, Arion ater agg., Limax maximus, Arion intermedius, Arion subfuscus were identified. We spotted evidence of recent pheasant feeding nearby and we became concerned that many of the woodland molluscs might have already been eaten by these rapacious birds!

A careful search around at the bottom of some trees and on the mossy banks, produced the snails Cochlicopa cf. lubrica, Nesovitrea hammonis, Trochulus hispidus (formerly Trichia hispida), Vitrea crystallina, Discus rotundatus, Oxychilus alliarius, Oxychilus helveticus, Cepaea nemoralis, Vitrina pellucida, and Euconulus fulvus during the morning. Then someone shouted ‘Land Caddis’, and we stopped to admire the recently vacated tube made meticulously of sandy grains. (Enoicyla pusilla, the Land Caddis, were found in these wood several years ago by Harry Green & Brett Westwood and continuing records are always useful). The ash trees near here were bespeckled with many resting Clausilia bidentata, as well as the occasional Merdigera obscura (formerly Ena obscura). David Long usefully discovered a single Macrogastra rolphii which we were able to compare with the former species.

The lunch stop area proved less interesting for molluscs, but we were pleased to discover that we were sitting next to a few Broad-leaved Helleborines (Epipactis helleborine)! A few fungi were spotted too, including Pluteus salicinus on sallow and the poisonous Inocybe geophylla var. lilacina which gave some colour to the winter woodland floor.

The afternoon amble began with one of us flushing a Woodcock Scolopax rusticola which provided another record for the wood. Cepaea hortensis and Arion distinctus were added to the list before we slithered down a steep bank into a stream valley which we thought might yield a few more species. Potomopyrgus antipodarum and Pisidium nitidum were discovered in the brook, in spite of the light being very poor. We were delighted to find a leech which was identified later by John as Glossiphonia complanata. We searched for and eventually found the delicate Ancylus fluviatilis on one of the rocks in the stream bed. Some leaf litter was collected and the snails Acanthinula aculeata, Carychium tridentatum and Punctum pygmaeum were later identified by Rosemary Hill and Ron Boyce and added to the species list for this site.

We climbed back up the slope to search around the base of some veteran oak trees where eventually we located Aegopinella pura which we were able to compare with A. nitidula. We returned through the outgrown hawthorn scrub passing badger latrines on the way. We were interested to discover a range of plant galls including those caused by gall wasps Neuroterus albipes and Neuroterus anthracinus in oak leaves, and by flies Dasineura urticae in nettle and Phytomyza glechomae in ground ivy Glechoma hederacea.

On the way back to the cars we stopped at a pool in the corner of a field. Whilst Ellen was dipping her net into the water, Rosemary Hill spotted some late hoverflies Eristalis pertinax on ragwort and John Meiklejohn found 3 mite galls - Aculus tetanothrix on Salix alba, Eriophyes laevis on alder and Phytoptus avellanae on hazel. We disturbed a late Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea which skimmed slowly off across the water. The Backswimmer Notonecta glauca was recorded from the pond, and Radix balthica and Oxychilus helveticus were collected from poolside plants.

As we wandered back over the fields after another interesting day in the countryside with friends, the Ravens serenaded our departure and we started sharing conchological plans for 2008!

Group members were Ron Boyce, Rosemary Hill, Terry Knight, David Long, John Meiklejohn, Ellen Pisolkar, Richard Watson and Rosemary Winnall.

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