Thursday, April 25, 2013

TQ1666: 300 at last... and some spiders

After what seems like an eternity (4 months to be more precise), I finally managed to take the TQ1666 total past the 300 mark yesterday morning, with a smart Brimstone. The weather has really picked up down here in Surrey, and a bit of moth trapping last night added Black Sexton Beetle Nicrophorus humator, Early Thorn Selenia dentaria, and Elachista canapennella, putting my 1km square total on 309.

This challenge really is becoming a great way to get to know the patch more. I turned over a log in the boggy area of Stokes Field back on Monday evening and found a small population of the apparently very rare moisture loving springtail, Isotoma riparia, which seems to be only seldom recorded in Britain. Just goes to show how much may be lurking out there completely unnoticed...

I'll have to run it through the 'system' first, but this could be quite a notable record for Surrey.

I'll leave you with a small selection of unidentified spiders that have been pissing me off big time lately. My spidey knowledge is nothing compared to the other contributors, so if anyone could provide a little ID help with these (even if it's just down to genus), I'd be much appreciated...

Spider 1: Possible Philodromus albidus? Swept from my garden hawthorn tree the other day. Rare, I know, but I can't seem to find any other Philodromus at any stage of development with such a rosy abdomen?

Spider 2: Another Philodromus species perhaps? Also swept from garden hawthorn tree.

Spider 3: The age old question... Araniella curcurbitana or opisthographa? Would this underside shot help at all? Swept from garden conifer tree.

Spider 4: Swept from underneath an oak tree in deciduous woodland.

Spider 5: Pirata species found under a half submerged log, in a boggy area of Stokes Field. Markings don't seem right for piraticus. I was wondering whether it could be Pirata hygrophilus?

Bonus spider: I don't really know where to start with this one, so just put it in for funzies. It was under the same wet log as the Pirata above...




  1. Hi Bill,

    1 - philodromus - too young, 99% of spider literature is about adults, very little known or published on youngsters. Slings can be reared to maturity in captivity if they look like they might be an important find.
    2 - philodromus - looks like p.cespitum, should be checked via genitalia - looks adult though if so, its a bit early.
    3 - too young - no epigyne has developed yet, but the right idea for camera angle - though it has to be absolutely orthogonal, as the difference can be subtle, and best done with the specimen under a microscope - there should be plenty of adults about by end of May.
    4 - metellina sp. need a view of the epigyne for a female, palps or the ventral spines on metatarsus I for males.
    5 - outside my experience - but doesn't look mature..
    6 - immature clubiona

    Half the battle with spiders is finding adults, very few experts will hazard an id on slings.


    1. Many thanks, Matt. Looks like I'll have to brush up on separating 'slings' from adults!