Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Nail Fungus at Roydon Common

  A brief visit to Roydon Common on the 9th December 2015 provided me with two nice sightings, first four woodlarks flying over, then moments later while searching the ground  a pile of pony droppings covered in what looked like white discs!

 I suddenly realised I was looking at the nail fungus Poronia punctata, it had been found in recent years by our then warden Jonathon Preston. Although familiar with its rarer cousin at Holme I was very pleased to bump into it. It was fruiting well and so now is clearly a good time to look for it. 

 Poronia punctata
 Poronia erici

   As can be seen P. erici is considerably smaller and trust me much harder to find, it prefers rabbit droppings! This species was only known from Scolt Head in Norfolk, being last recorded in the late 1930's. It was found at Holme in October 2010 by a very observant photographer who, at the time was photographing a species of Boletus. It has proved to be erratic in appearance and only from one small area on the site, however it is probably over-looked. Autumn and early winter is the best time to search for it, the public footpath east of the pines the area to explore. Good luck you'll need it!

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