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Nature You Meet in the Mountains #19

Flora and Fauna of Korea #19

Korea.net publishes a series of articles, “Nature You Meet in the Mountains,” about the peninsula’s mushrooms, insects, trees and herbs & flowers.

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Insects

Name: 귀뚜라미, Gwiddurami
Scientific name: Velarifictorus aspersus (Walker)
Distribution: Korea, Japan

This cricket is about 17 to 21 millimeters long. It is black brown and has spotted patterns all across its body. The head is round and glossy. The head has a light yellow cross at the top and six vague vertical lines in the same color along the back. The top edge of the head stands out. The compound eyes are oval. The antenna are long and slender, about one and a half times longer than its whole body. It has some random spotted patterns in a light color on the back of the frontal thorax. The fore wings cannot reach the tip of the tail. The hind wings have deteriorated over successive generations, and have become quite small on most specimens. However, a handful of specimens have developed large hind wings. This cricket has a lot of black brown spots covering the legs that are light in color. On the tibia of the hind wings, it has six thorns along the outer line and five along the inner line. The cercus is longer than half its body length. The ovipositor is pointy and slightly longer than the cercus.

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Trees

Name: 사방오리, Sabangori
Scientific name: Alnus firma Siebold & Zucc.
Type: deciduous broadleaf shrub
Blooming season: April
Bearing season: October
Distribution: southern regions of the peninsula

These trees, normally called alders, are mostly found in the southern parts of the peninsula. Samples can grow to a height of 7 meters and achieve 30 centimeters around. The bark is grayish brown, and has no fur. The leaves are alternating, oval-shaped, lanceolate and are pointed sharply toward the end. The leaves are double-serrated, meaning that the edges are arranged in a saw-tooth pattern. This monoecious tree gives bloom to a flower with leaves. The fruits are oval-shaped. The seeds have wings attached to it.

* This tree has often been used in re-forestation campaigns and in erosion control. Also, its fruit and bark is sometimes used for dyeing.

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Mushrooms

Name: 노란다발, Noran dabal
Scientific name: Hypholoma fasciculare var. fasciculare (Huds.) P. Kumm.
Type: saprophile spore
Print: violet
Dangerous to eat

This mushroom develops in small groups, sprouting from stumps and branches of dead conifers and broadleaved trees. The cap is about 1 to 5 centimeters in diameter. It originally has a semi-round shape, and gradually becomes flat with the center part getting a bit indented. The surface of the cap is flat, wide and absorbs moisture. The color ranges from yellow to yellowish-green. The center is usually yellowish brown. Parts of the inner veil are shown along the edges of the cap, but it disappears over time. The pleats are densely arranged and the color turns from yellow to yellowish green and green-brown. The stipes are 2-12 centimeters long and 2 to 7 millimeters around. The stipes share a similar color with the cap, and it is glossy. It has a fragile cobweb-like bib, which disappears with age.

*Caution: It is easily spotted along the mountain trails of Korea. Be careful! It contains deadly poison!

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Herbs & Flowers

Name: 투구꽃, Tuguggot, Helmet Flower
Scientific name: Aconitum jaluense Kom.
Blooming season: August to September
Distribution: nationwide

This perennial is normally found in forests and mountains. It grows to one-meter high. The leaves are alternating, and branch outward into three to five leafs in the shape of a palm tree. The purple flowers bloom at the stem. The petals look like they are wearing a helmet. The fruits are oval.

*This series of article about Korea’s insects, trees, mushrooms and herbs & flowers has been made possible through the cooperation of the Korea National Arboretum.

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