mary neal's picture

Grassy mounds

Observed: 1st January 2011 By: mary nealmary neal’s reputation in Invertebrates
P1030865
Description:

Hundreds of grassy mounds in close proximity to each other, in several adjoining fields. Each mound approx 18 to 24 inches high. Seem to contain soil.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Blewit Boy's picture

Ive seen these...........

I've seen mounds like these here and there. Especially on undisturbed/unploughed grassland pasture. I think they maybe a sign of unimproved grassland. But I'm not sure. I have seen them most often on nature reserves.

chris

Jonathan's picture

As you say, you only seem to

As you say, you only seem to find these in unimproved grassland, although I do have the ants in my lawn where they have not been able to create a mound because I mow it!
See http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/113888

I think that the key thing for suitable habitat may be that the grass does not grow tall enough to shade the nest and cool it. Improved grassland tends to be taller.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

rimo's picture

Improved grassland also tends

Improved grassland also tends to have been ploughed, resulting in the same situation as in your garden - ants are present, but not in mounds, which are occupied all year round and gradually increase in size

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anonymous spotter's picture

They are favoured basking spots -

for some reptiles: adders seem to like them particularly, since they bask in sun rather than under a warm surface. Rabbits will also use them as look-out points. Flattened grass on the tops is a good indication.