Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 7 May 2012 21:08
We have been recording our 7th podcast down at Rye Harbour today and what a day it was. We had a great trip around with Barry looking at the birds, you'll have to wait for the podcast for all the details. Sadly, the impressive display of waders had dwindled and the Kentish Plover and Temminck's Stint were not to be seen. The rain was coming down and any chance of entomology with Chris Bentley seemed slim. Then it stopped and we had a search for Pellenes but it was just too cold. We resorted to turning over railway sleepers, where I finally saw my first ever Bombardier Beetles Brachinus crepitans. There were lots of them there, I think we saw 30 + under perhaps six railway sleepers. Then as we were about to finish up, the sun came out and we decided to have one last try for Pellenes.
And there it was! I spotted the first one, squealing like and idiot (it's all on tape so you can hear it). Pellenes tripunctatus. An RDB1 species, the only member in the genus and what has to be the most striking spider I have ever seen. It's pretty big for a jumper, not quite as big as Marpissa muscosa but big enough and colourful in a Sin City kind of way. It was very active, regularly crawling under the stones only to peep out at us again a few seconds later with its red-bordered eyes. We found another two males and spent plenty of time photographing them. Even Michael, with his arachnophobia, was quite taken with them. A huge thank you to Barry Yates and Chris Bentley for showing us around today, this podcast promises to be something pretty special!