I found a unicorn on my lunch break!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday 8 March 2019 21:18

I spent my lunch hour in the sedge bed at Woods Mill and sucked up a tiny unicorn with my suction sampler. In an hour I managed six spiders new for the year, five of which were new for Woods Mill and the 10 km square including Walckenaeria unicornis. I always think getting one of these novelty-headed spiders is like finding the last green triangle in a tin of Quality Street. It's more of a nubbin than a horn but you get the idea. Here it is in the tray, nubbin-horn just about visible between the over-sized palps. Walck palps are pretty cool too being large and elaborate.

And another of the same genus, the larger Walckenaeria nudipalpis.

Known from the site is the tiny Ozyptila brevipes which is easy to find in the winter, in tussocks and litter. Female at the top, male at the bottom. Crusty little buggers.

Also there was a female Ero furcata, one of the pirate spiders. 

The other two species new for the year were Porrhomma pygmaeum and Gnathonarium dentatum.  Oh and lots of the weirdly shaped Episinus angulatus.

And the common Zora spinimana

So nothing scarce there but lots of new records for less than an hour in the field! And that puts me on 99 spiders for the year! 

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