A Rye Smile

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 26 May 2019 19:37

The Rye Harbour spider trip was awesome. Even if there was only five of us. Chris Bentley showed us around and I made good use of the electric suction-sampler and as ever I learnt lots from Matt and Chris. I added at least nine spiders for the year and got one lifer. It was great to spend some time with Matt too during the 'big year', I hope we get another chance to meet up later this year. Totally forgot to get any pictures of Humans though.

Star of the show was always going to be Pellenes tripunctatus (nationally rare) so I am gonna get that out of the way first so I can focus, that's pretty much what happened yesterday too. Above and below is the male. What a dude!

And a wee video of him.

And I saw my first female. It's really big for a jumper, I think only Marpissa muscosa is bigger.

Other highlights included Enoplognatha mordax and Phlegra fasciata but I didn't manage a photo of these. I saw an adult male Phlegra but it disappeared down a crack in the ground. The kind of crack you'd normally see at the end of summer.

New for me was the nationally scarce Haplodrassus dalmatiensis.

Also we added Trichonchus affinis (nationally rare) and Lathys stigmatisata (nationally rare). I tried to get a few non-spider species new to the site but it's really hard. I did manage a few bugs that had not been recorded since 1989. This weevil Polydrusus pulchellus (Nb) was new for me. I sucked it off the edge of the saltmarsh by targeting Sea-wormwood. I see it has the English name Sea-wormwood Weevil so that makes sense.

We were missing a few jumpers but the weather wasn't great so we headed to Camber Sands...

It took quite a lot of effort to find Marpissa nivoyi but here it is. About equally matched to the Dactylochelifer latreilli.

We also found Cheiracanthium virescens (NS) and Zelotes electus (NS - this was also at Rye Harbour). This one wouldn't keep still so you can have a look at its underside. Some immature Agroeca too. 

I was desperate to see Philodromus fallax. Or the 'f-word' as it is now known. We found several sub-adult Philodromus and despite me trying to convince everyone it was fallax, I am now convinced they weren't either. Putting a spider on sand does not make it fallax. You can see why I got excited though.

A quick dash to Castle Water and we soon saw Trichopterna cito (NR) and Hypsosinga albovittata (NS). That's THREE lifers I found Matt yesterday so no one can say this spider challenge is anything but a civilised affair. I'm hoping there might be a few more coming my way from Matt's dets. The only photo I took at Castle Water was of this Small Copper larva, first time I have ever seen one. Which is nuts because I have seen quite a few adults.

Rye Harbour is an exceptional site and has a huge list of rare and scarce spiders. 

Now a normal person would have gone home happy but I had to try for Euophrys herbigrada on the way home near Eastbourne. I didn't find it but I did get two records that I have only ever had in Ireland and Jersey, both in the suction sampler. The first was Small Plume (which feeds on Mouse-ear Hawkweed - there are only three dots on the map for this species in Sussex) and the second was the bug Capsodes sulcatus which was a first for East Sussex! Last seen in West Sussex in 2002.

It was a great day and I am currently on 266 spiders for 2019!

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