The X-Files

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday 24 April 2014 21:00

Two days. Two different invertebrate surveys. Two Xysticus crab spiders that I've not seen until now. Now by far the commonest Xysticus is Xysticus cristatus and you have to look through a lot of these to find the less common and scarce ones, so it really is quite surprising to see two new ones in as many days!

First up we have the striking Xysticus audax (how many other species begin and end with x?). It looks like a tiny skeleton (or maybe a stormtrooper) but the clincher is in the structure of the genitalia (this one is a male). Jane found this sieving bracken litter at Burton Pond.

Now today, we picked up a scarce one being the HUGE Xysticus bifasciatus. Alice swept this from a heathy ride at Flatropers today. This one is a female.

Other highlights today included Ancylis uncella, Platystomos albinus, a couple of very cool flies being Conops versicularis and this Hazel Leaf Roller Apoderus coryli that I haven't seen for about five years! Now, tomorrow, a long over due day at the microscope and in the office! A huge thanks to Jane, Alice, Chris and Mike for a couple of great days in the field!

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