Wandering around the more overgrown corners of Montjuïc and other “wild” fringes of Barcelona, like the sunny slopes of Collserola, you may well come across Kermes oak, Quercus coccifera, an evergreen low growing oak found across the Mediterranean. Continue reading
The commonest tree by far in Barcelona is the London plane (Platanus x acerifolia), a hybrid of Turkish and American ancestors. It is tolerant of atmospheric pollution which it deals with by constantly shedding its flaky bark – itself a way its wild relatives combat parasites. Peel off their bark and you may find tiny Sycamore lace bugs (Corythucha ciliata), gorgeously intricate under the magnifying glass, although these pests suck on the tree’s sap and lead to its early death.
“Corythucha.ciliata.1” by I, Sarefo. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Interesting chart comparing the dining preferences in Barcelona of native mosquitoes with the dreaded Tiger Mosquito, an invasive species from Southeast Asia. While the former’s victims are: 35.7% humans, 21.4% cats, 14.3% dogs, 8.5% Turkish dove and 19.1 % other birds (pigeons, parakeets and blackbirds, sparrows etc), the Tiger Mosquito feeds EXCLUSIVELY on humans, which it bites during the day. My own resistance has built up remarkably over the last eight years since they arrived, and although their bite is still a burning one, the swelling now goes down after about 30 minutes