I've seen half of the UK's spiders this year, two months earlier than last year!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 13 September 2020 16:38

It dawned on me yesterday that I had passed a milestone earlier this week, that last year I didn't reach until 22nd November, that's half of the UK's spiders in under 8.5 months. I am pretty chuffed with this considering what kind of year we have had and that I have not left Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent. Oh and actually Wiltshire too, but just in the very south east corner. No, that's a lie, I also went to Bedfordshire earlier in the year! I think about 90% of this list has so far been work too, this year being easier than last year. 

Anyway, yesterday's addition to my list was also a county first! I suction sampled Cryptachaea blattea. I really wasn't expecting that yesterday but there it is. We found it by doing a survey of Mark Colvin's woodland in West Sussex and this was right next to his house. This is my 347th spider this year. With still over 3.5 months to play with, can I beat last year's 391 and can I keep my lead above Tylan? The former all depends on one thing, whether we have another lockdown or not. Before, I was working all during lockdown doing surveys but I wouldn't feel comfortable travelling for 'fun recording' if it starts again. Who knows about the latter. There's all to play for. I didn't lose interest from July to September like I did last year, that's the hardest window for spidering. It's all about to get very 'liny' though. I can't wait!

Also this week, I was surprised to find I was in Wiltshire. I thought I was in Hampshire, not realising that a chunk of the New Forest was in Wiltshire! I was less than 50 m from the border when I found this, while looking for saproxylic beetles. I beat this tiny spiderling of Hyptiotes paradoxus off a low oak branch in dense woodland. This is the third time I have seen this and never when I've been looking for it. This appears to be a new county record too. I also had Sibianor aurocinctus apparently new to Wiltshire.

Now, I might not have a two week trip to Staffs planned at Christmas but I am hoping to start targeting some more distant sites/spiders, I might go on a quick roadshow too. I do think 400 is definitely possible.

1 Response to "I've seen half of the UK's spiders this year, two months earlier than last year!"

Ali Says:

To see 400 spp in Scotland I'd need 91% of the known spp! Which is a bit academic, really since I won't ...

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