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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 37

Spider Recorder’s Annual Report 2000 The number of species of spider recorded from Suffolk continues to grow. Important surveys at Alton Water, Braziers Wood and RAF Mildenhall have provided a lot of new data during the year and the latest results from a long running survey at Elveden were kindly provided by Barry Collins of Centre Parcs. Stan Dumican continues to provide records from the west of the county and a spider identification course at Flatford Mill resulted in a large number of records from several sites in the south east. As a result 419 species are now known from the county, an increase of three on last year. Two of these additions, Araeoncus crassiceps and Meioneta mollis, were found at Elveden whilst Hilaira excisa was found in Brazier’s Wood, Ipswich. This latter is an uncommon money spider usually associated with damp habitats, often on upland moors and hence there are few records from East Anglia. Where it does occur in lowland areas in the south, wet alder woodland, such as Brazier’s Wood, is a typical habitat. In last year’s report (Lee, 2000) I wrote of the addition of Meioneta fuscipalpa to the British checklist as a result of specimens found at RAF Mildenhall. At the time it was uncertain as to whether the species had been introduced by military activities on the site or whether it was a very rare component of the breck heath fauna. The latter explanation now looks more likely as a result of further information becoming available on the ecology of this species on the continent. Now that it’s occurrence has been noted in the Brecks it will be interesting to see if further records of the species are forthcoming from other heathland sites. The distinctive jumping spider, Marpissa mucosa, was found again in 2000, this time from Barnham Heath. There have now been three Breckland records of this spider in the last two years. This suggests that the lack of records from 1922 to 1998 was probably due to under recording in the area rather than a real absence. Alongside spider records I am also collecting information on pseudoscorpions and harvestmen. Mendel (1981) reviewed the Suffolk records of pseudoscorpions listing 17 species from the county but reported that two of these, Chthonius orthodactylus and Chelifer cancroides were misidentifications of Chthonius ischnocheles and Neobisum muscorum respectively. Further notes (Mendel 1982, Mendel 1987) added a further species but also removed one from the list. In 1994 I collected a male specimen of Chthonius orthodactylus from Benacre Broad NNR thus reinstating this as a Suffolk species. This brings the total number of pseudoscorpion species recorded from Suffolk to sixteen. There has been no summary of harvestmen records since Morley reported on 14 species in his 1940 paper. Ten years ago I reported the discovery of Nelima gothica in Suffolk bringing the number of species recorded at that time to 19 out of a total of 23 British species (Lee, 1991). In 1994 a further species, Dicranopalpus ramosus, was recorded from Lowestoft, Reydon and Otley and has since been found in several other sites. Oligolophus hanseni was added to the Suffolk list in 2000 when specimens were found in a pitfall trap during the RAF Mildenhall survey. As a result there are now 21 species of harvestmen known from Suffolk out of a British list of 25 species.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 37 (2001)



References Lee, P. (1991). The first recorded occurrence of the harvestman Nelima gothica Lohmander in East Anglia. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 27: 19–21. Lee, P. (2000). Spider Recorder’s Report 1999. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 36: 103–104. Mendel, H. (1981). A review of Suffolk pseudoscorpions. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 18:226–232. Mendel, H. (1982). A few more records of pseudoscorpions including a species new to Suffolk. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 18: 296. Mendel, H. (1987). Suffolk pseudoscorpions – a correction to the Suffolk list. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 23:71. Morley, C. (1940). The remaining Arachnida. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 4:165– 174. Paul Lee 155 Corton Road, Lowestoft NR32 4PR

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 37 (2001)

Spider Recorder’s Annual Report 2000  

Paul Lee

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