All images on this website have been taken in Leicestershire and Rutland by NatureSpot members. We welcome new contributions - just register and use the Submit Records form to post your photos. Click on any image below to visit the species page. The RED / AMBER / GREEN dots indicate how easy it is to identify the species - see our Identification Difficulty page for more information. A coloured rating followed by an exclamation mark denotes that different ID difficulties apply to either males and females or to the larvae - see the species page for more detail.
It can be challenging enough to identify the species you have come across, but sometimes nature throws a curve ball so it can be almost impossible to know what you are looking at! Here are a few of these natural oddities we have come across in Leicestershire and Rutland.
Galls are abnormal growths on plants and fungi induced by another species, living in or on the host, which causes the cells to enlarge or multiply abnormally to create food and shelter for the gall-causer. There are hundreds of different galls that can be recognised and the NatureSpot gallery on illustrates many of these. Here are a few examples:
Knopper Gall on Oak
Bedeguar Gall on Dog Rose
Thistle Gall Fly on Creeping Thistle
Leucism is a genetic trait which causes defects in pigment cell functioning. It can affect the whole animal but is more usually seen affecting patches of skin, hair or feathers.
leucistic male Blackbird
Albinism is a genetic condition that stops the production of melanin. Other pigment cells can still work so albinos are often more yellow than pure white. However albinism affects the retina and iris so albinos appear to have red eyes due to blood vessels showing through the translucent iris.
albino Grey Squirrel
Many animals display different colour forms that are genetically inherited. Sometimes these bring an evolutionary advantage so remain in the population, in other cases they disappear if the carrier doesn't survive.