I've seen half of Britain's spiders this year!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 22 November 2019 20:07

I had a great day today handing over the Butcherlands bird survey to Glenn where we saw three Hawfinches, Peregrine and Red Kite. Then we went on to Burton where we had a look at the work being done there to open up Black Hole. It's looking really good but I didn't want to miss an opportunity to work some of the tussocks in the bog. I apologise in advance for rubbish photos in the white tray but it's a very wet site and wet day, so nice photos were not really achievable.

We recorded 27 species of spider, 16 of which were new to the site. Including Nesticus cellulanus, a spider that I was worried I might not pick up this year. Also new for the year were a couple of other 'bogey spiders' I had not seen until now but really should have. Macrargus rufus and FINALLY Robertus lividus. That puts me on 343 species for the year, just passing over the 50% mark. Now I know I am a few months behind Matt Prince on this but I am very pleased to get to this point.

New to the site today was the creepy Taranuncus setosus. A Nationally Scarce spider I have only ever found in Greater Tussock-sedge or Purple Moor-grass tussocks. It is really rather sinister looking, a big dark leggy liny with 'something of the night' about it. Here is a female on the left. To the right is the disappointing Walckenaeria nudipalpis which lacks a fancy head in the male.

And these tiny spiders must surely be young Rugathodes instabilis given the habitat.

Then Glenn swept the first Hieroglyphic Ladybird I have ever seen in Sussex and the first on a Trust reserve since 1993 (which was actually Graffham Common). This was from an area of rush growing over Sphagnum, a long way from any heathers. Why are these so hard to find? I have now seen them three times, all this year in Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex.

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