How to identify wall wildlife

A wall is a miniature cliff to a plant or animal and can offer a range of microclimates. Here are a 12 species for you to look for in summer.

red-underwing-Felicity-Rose-Cole-db6a828

All illustrations by Felicity Rose Cole       

Advertisement

Red underwing moth (Catocala nupta

Wingspan: 65–75mm. Large, well- camouflaged moth; when disturbed flashes red-and-black underwings.

Common carpet moth (Epirrhoe alternata)

Wingspan: 20–25mm. Small moth with cryptic markings; wings have a dark central band with pale borders.

common20carpet20Felicity20Rose20Cole-29923ca

Marbled green moth (Cryphia muralis)

Wingspan: 27–34mm. Small moth, camouflaged in greys and greens to blend in with lichens, its larval food.

marbled20green20Felicity20Rose20Cole-bb5112b

Brown-lipped snail (Cepaea nemoralis)

Variable patterning, but usually yellowish and brown. Always has a dark edge to shell’s inner opening.

brown20lipped20snail20Felicity20Rose20Cole-cd04ce8

Lace weaver spider (Amaurobius similis)

Body: up to 10mm (female); glossy brown, velvety abdomen. Lacy web surrounds its crevice hideaway.

lace20weaver20spider20Felicity20Rose20Cole-404afaa

Tube-web spider (Segestria florentina)

Body: up to 22mm (female); black, with bronzy jaws. Trip-lines radiate from its crevice web. Local in south.

tube20web20spider20Felicity20Rose20Cole-60a6b96

Ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis)

Tiny flowers and fleshy foliage on trailing stems. After flowering, stalks grow into dark cracks to bury seeds.

ivy20leaved20toadflax20Felicity20Rose20Cole-5f16818

Yellow corydalis (Pseudofumaria lutea)

Feathery leaves and sprays of yellow tubular flowers. A protein globule on each seed bribes ants to distribute.

yellow20corydalis20Felicity20Rose20Cole20-c66df6b

Reflexed stonecrop (Sedum rupestre)

Fleshy leaves and flattish heads of yellow flowers. Can survive in the driest locations on hardly any soil.

reflexed20stonecrop20Felicity20Rose20Cole-283fe9f

Grey cushion moss (Grimmia pulvinata)

Translucent leaf tips give a greyish, woolly appearance when dry. On wall tops and along mortar lines.

moss20Felicity20Rose20Cole-fae4a8a

Anomalous bristle-moss (Orthotrichum anomalum)

Brown spore capsules are held on stalks above green leaves. On neutral or limey walls, but not acid ones.

Advertisement
anomalous20bristlemoss20Felicity20Rose20Cole-db33aef

Salted shield lichen(Parmelia saxatilis)

Blue-grey fronds in loose rosettes. One of many leafy lichens found on upland walls, especially acid stone.

lichen20Felicity20Rose20Cole-b567a92