Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 26 February 2024 18:22

Today is species 200 in #speciesaday, a series of daily 'microblogs' that I have been doing on Twitter for the last 200 days. Why bother? Well, I haven't had much time to do longer blogs lately, and I really like the snappy format of being restricted to 280 characters. I also REALLY like playing with my maps. As my Recorder 6 database hits 252,611 records, the maps are starting to be quite meaningful. So here are the rules...

  • I have to do it every day. So far so good, but this is the 3rd time I have attempted this. Don't think I got this far before though...
  • It must be something I have seen and have a photo of.
  • If I have a meaningful story to tell about the distribution of my records, I will. Including how many records I have for it, etc.
  • I'll include as much info as I can, including conservation statuses.
  • No repeats.
This means I need to keep track of what I have featured so far. I was surprised to see that out of 200 species, beetles were winning with 63 species featured and spiders were a long way behind at 37 species. I do tend to feature whatever I am writing about at the time for work, so they are often out of season. That will change come the summer! This does mean there is a tendency to feature rarer things, as that's what I usually photograph and have to write about in reports. In fact, 117 out of 200 species featured had some form of conservation status. My mean number of records for feature species is 41.8.

Will I ever run out species? Well, I add new species to my PSL list at a rate of about 1.2 to 1.5 species a day and this has been consistent for well over a decade. So I doubt it! But I might run out of species that make good photos. Not any time soon though!

Here is today's effort featuring the photo from the top of this post.

1/3 #speciesaday no. 200 is Pardosa paludicola. Nationally Rare & Endangered. Massive, near-black wolf spider, speckled with golden hairs. Known from less than 10 UK sites. Early adult period, although females later. White egg sacks, like a Pirata.

2/3 I have 16 records from two sites. 15 from Butcherlands next to Ebernoe in West Sussex and one male from a site in Hants. Both could be considered as pragmatic/hybrid rewilding projects (although this is likely coincidence).

3/3 At Butcherlands, as of 2022 it had spread to six fields after I first discovered it there in 2016.

I do sometimes put these on Facebook too but it really goes from a 10 minute thing to a 30 minute thing if I do this. So best to get on Twitter to see these daily updates.

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