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SPIDER REPORT 1999 SPIDERS OF RAF MILDENHALL

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Spider Recorder’s Report 1999 Although Thornhill’s paper Spiders of Suffolk was published in 1999 it was actually written almost ten years before. In those ten years a great deal of work has been undertaken on the arachnid fauna of Suffolk. Aside from my own work as County Recorder major surveys have been undertaken by the British Arachnological Society (BAS) at Orford Ness (Nellist, 1994 & 1997), Matthew Shardlow on Havergate Island (Shardlow, 1998) and Richard Wilson, a voluntary warden at Minsmere (Wilson, 1999). Stan Dumican and Matthew Shardlow have also recorded spiders from a number of sites on a casual basis. This high level of activity continued throughout 1999 with a major survey at RAF Mildenhall reported else where in this volume and a return to Suffolk of the BAS. The BAS grew from the Flatford Mill Spider Study Group and returned to its birthplace for the weekend of 21–23 May to celebrate its fortieth anniversary. On 22 May field visits to Landguard and Newbourne Springs by the country’s leading arachnologists produced lists of 30 and 89 species respectively for the SWT reserves including Trichoncus affinis and Euophrys obsoleta, two rare shingle specialists. The total species list for the county now stands at 416 species including two species added during 1999, Meioneta fuscipalpa and Neon robustus. Meioneta fuscipalpa is a new species to Britain and its discovery is described elsewhere in this volume. Neon robustus, a jumping spider, was also recognised as new to Britain very recently (Snazell, Jonsson & Stewart, 1999) and, although larger, is similar in appearance to Neon reticulatus, a relatively common species. Specimens of Neon reticulatus collected from Orford Ness in 1994 have been checked and found to belong to Neon robustus. It seems likely that further records of the species will be found when specimens from other sites are also checked. Several other species were recorded from Suffolk for the first time in many years, most notably the very distinctive jumping spider Marpissa mucosa last seen in 1922. Despite these advances our knowledge of the spiders of Suffolk remains very patchy with large areas, of West Suffolk particularly, being virtually unknown in terms of their arachnid fauna. Contributions of collections of even common species from gardens, woodlands, wetlands and heaths would be of great value in furthering our understanding. References Nellist, D. R. (1994). A Survey of the Spiders of Orford Ness, Suffolk, on the 18th and 19th June 1994. Unpublished report for the British Arachnological Society. Nellist, D. R. (1997). A Second Survey of the Spiders of Orford Ness, Suffolk. Unpublished report for the British Arachnological Society. Shardlow, M. E. A. (1998). Havergate Spiders 1996–7; Including an assessment of the potential impacts of managed retreat on the fauna. Unpublished report for the RSPB. Snazell, R., Jonsson, L. J. & Stewart, J. A. (1999). Neon robustus Lohmander (Araneae: Salticidae), a fennoscandian spider found in Scotland and Ireland. Bull. Br. arachnol. Soc. 11(6): 251–254.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 36 (2000)


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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 36

Thornhill, W. A. (1999). Spiders of Suffolk. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 35: 76– 78. Wilson, R. (1999). Spiders of Minsmere RSPB Reserve, Suffolk. Newsl. Br. arachnol. Soc. 86: 14.

Paul Lee, 155 Corton Road, Lowestoft NR32 4PR

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 36 (2000)

Spider Recorder’s Report 1999  

Paul Lee

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