Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Black-winged stilt and Dracunculus

The black-winged stilt, common stilt, or pied stilt (Himantopus himantopus) is a widely distributed very long-legged wader in the avocet and stilt family. (Recurvirostridae).

 Adults are 33–36 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. This difference is not clear-cut, however, and males usually get all-white heads in winter

Dracunculus is a genus of 3 species of a tuberous perennial of the family Araceae. They are characterised by a large purple spathe and spadix, often produced in advance of the pedate, dark green leaves often with white mottling. The open spathe is usually accompanied by a foul smell.

The species native in Menorca is Dragons Mouth Arum (Dracunculus Muscivorus). The common name refers to the unique and powerful scent! 'Probably the most disgusting flower I have ever encountered...' was one group member's reaction to seeing this rare relative of the common Dragon Arum and the word 'muscivorus' means fly-eating. but it merely attracts them with that dead meat scent to spread the pollen, as it happens with other Arums.

Both pictures were shoted by Ms. Carol Crawford, Guest, Ecologist and Artist.

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