In this photo of it, it can be seen that some of the white leaves have partially green centres and there are green streaks on the stems, proving that this is a variegation, caused either by genetic mutation or possibly a virus.
By the way, Martin, would you mind if I did something on this thistle for the East Glam wildlife blog? I would, of course credit you with the discovery.
|Variegated Spear Thistle|
While there, I spent some time lolling about on the shallow bank of poorly vegetated basic slag, on which the Small Blue colony used to, or possibly still does, exist. While doing so, I spotted this tiny jumping spider on the seed head of a Kidney Vetch.
There is no doubt that it is of the genus Heliophanus, but there are two species that are very similar and this could be either of those, namely H. cupreus and H. flaviceps. I have a feeling it is the latter, but I am not confident enough about that to enter a record for it.
While on the bank I saw this Southern Hawker, which allowed me one quick shot before it zoomed off.
While exploring the wetter part of the bank, close to the ride, I found a small group of Round-leaved Wintergreen in flower, which is a first for me, having failed to find the plants Martin found near Llyn Fawr a couple of years ago.
On my way out, I photographed this insect resting on the leaf of a bullrush, in the wheel wash. I have no idea what it is and can't find anything like it in my insect books. At first I thought it might be a sawfly of some sort, but the head is completely wrong for that, so I am stumped, but although tiny, it is a nice looking thing.
Earlier in the day, before visiting Bryn Du, I called into the former Phurnacite truck tipping site, to check on the Bladder Campion and while there I came across this Six Spot Burnet, at rest. I know they are common and often appear in this blog, but I couldn't resist splashing a pic of it.
As it was so mild last night and as I knew I would have a delayed start to work this morning, I ran my garden moth trap. The catch was a little disappointing, probably due to the breezy conditions, but that was all made up for by this second brood Chocolate Tip, which was only my fifth.