Peak spider

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 23 December 2019 08:57

The Roaches will always be one of the places that absolutely blow me away. Only 35 miles from where I grew up (as far as Iping Common is from home) but it felt like another country growing up. So this morning I headed to this site to do some upland spidering and had a pretty awesome day. I got a lifer in the first sample. The embarrassingly common Poecilonta variegata. It's great coming up 'north'!

Then on the second suction sample I got another lifer. It wasn't until I got home that |I realised which Bolyphantes I had but all the specimens I took were Bolyphantes luteolus and not the more northern species. And at about 400 m I saw on my phone that Matt had pulled ahead meaning we were now level-pegging on 373. The tension!

I suction-sampled a lovely adult male Walckneaeria acuminata. Look at that eye turret!

It got a little colder and I slowed down but the surprise of a male Snow Flea in the suction sampler was awesome!

It's such an alien landscape. Love it up there. My first Red Grouse in over 15 years was a welcome distraction.

Plants I grew up with like Crowberry and Cowberry seem exotic to me now.

At over 450 m, Megabunus diadema was surprisingly hardy. A new 10 km square for this species.

Then I found what I was looking for, some stones to turn over. Here is an adult female Segestria senoculata at nearly 450 m.

A Hedgehog Slug.

I picked up two female Centromerus prudens, another lifer for me (374). What also turned out to be a lifer, the nationally scarce Porrhomma montanum  below (375). And I have just spent an hour figuring out what the last spider was, another nationally scarce lifer!!! Scotinotylus evansi (376). Now, I'm off back up north to Gun Moor...

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