The Beasts of Butcherland

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 2 April 2019 21:13

I did the lookering yesterday at Butcherlands and had a quick look for spiders as I went. I was keen to check up on the Pardosa paludicola that we found there back in 2017. It took about 30 seconds to spot one. They are HUGE compared to the wealth of commoner Pardosa that are everywhere. I saw two females and a male (all adult). They are very leggy and spiny compared to other members of the genus and have another skill up their eight sleeves; they're surprisingly good jumpers and unlike the other species, can jump clean out of the tray!

And a male.

Other species new for the year included a few young female Sibianor aurocinctus (I took this photo of a female last year).

Pardosa pullata
Walckenaeria antica
Pelecopsis parallela
Dictyna arundinacea

I found the cows. All good.

Then I had to service some of the dataloggers in Ebernoe and thought about what Matt said about searching Amaurobius webs for Oonops. On one very dark and shady oak in deep Holly shade there was a huge web (which in hindsight was probably a Tegenaria's). I shook this into the tray and found an amazing five specimens of the nationally scarce BAP Dipoena inornata (Silky Gallows-spider). Now this is only the second time I have encountered this spider (the other was as new to East Sussex from Eridge Rocks in a very different habitat - shaken from fern litter growing on sandrock) and was really surprised to see it in this habitat. New to Ebernoe and the 10 km square. They are meant to eat ants, I would imagine that this would just about be suitable for Brown Tree Ant Lasius brunneus but why were they in this web and in such numbers?!
And the male under the microscope showing the novelty front end. So funny.

Then today the weather wasn't any good for a lunch time jaunt until I saw Matt Prince was on 132 species too. So as I was leaving work I beat the soggy Box bush outside the office window and got THREE species new for the year in ten minutes, putting me on 135 species for 2019.

Clubiona comta (my 6th Clubiona for 2019)
Neriene peltata
Padiscura pallens

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