450 spiders in a year IS possible!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday 5 November 2021 17:06

This is Clubiona rosserae. It's a nationally rare/vulnerable species known from a handful of fens in East Anglia only. It's an important spider for me as I reached two significant milestones yesterday at the same time. Firstly, this is my 450th species of spider this year. That's 58 species more than 2019 and with nearly two months to go. There are lots of trips planned before the challenge ends on the 31st December. Is 500 possible? I doubt it. But 475 surely is. It's the 44th new species of spider I've had this year too.

It's also my 500th species of spider ever in the UK. Which bizarrely means that there are only 50 species of spider I've ever seen that I've not seen this year.

Yesterday, I went to Chippenham Fen and met up with Mike Taylor, Helen Smith and Alan Thornhill. It was very wet underfoot, so suction sampling was a struggle and sieving very messy. The other new species for the year was Hygrolycosa rubrofasciata. There were lots of spiderlings of these, the only place I have definitely seen this species before.

I might also have found Walckenaeria alticeps at last but the specimen ended up in someone else's pocket. That will be a lifer if it is that species.

So next up, I have some trips planned out to furthest West Sussex looking for a couple of Centromerus species and then Sunday it's Dungeness to look for Apostenus fuscus.

Pretty pleased with 450 species, especially as I didn't think I was going to do it this year! Only need about six species to get two two thirds of the UK fauna in a year.

Here is a shot Helen took of a fen creeper.

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