By John Partridge
The long-awaited British Distribution Atlas is one step nearer as the many thousands of records held at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology are now being transferred to computer. No new records are being accepted after 31st December 1999, so if you have something strange pickled at home, or lurking in the cellar waiting to be caught, please do not delay any further - get it to me as soon as possible. There are no plans to produce any further editions of the Atlas; perhaps it is assumed that the National Biodiversity Network will allow everything to be accessed by Internet in future.
The collection of records round the county has continued during the summer and autumn, so that there will not be white space for Worcestershire on every page of the Atlas. The two best recorded hectads will still denote where the two main recorders live, but I suspect that that will be the case in almost every county, except perhaps Essex where over 40,000 records have been produced.
Two WWT Reserves - Ipsley Alders Marsh and Feckenham Wylde Moor - have over 50 species with recent records, and it may be possible to get one or two more reserves up to this level during the Autumn.
There have been some more additions to the County list since the last Newsletter, with the rarest being Philodromus collinus on Ipsley Alders, Hybocoptus decollatus on the Malvern Hills - apparently the most northerly record in Britain for a spider that was only known from the Isle of Wight in 1974, and Theridion hemerobius (figure 2) from Strensham Lock- an even more recent addition to the British lists, first reported in 1994, and since found in four counties, now five. Theonoe minutissima was found on Hartlebury Common, Panamomops sulcifrons (figure 1)at Eades Meadow and Marshlands Meadow and Pelecopsis mengei on the Gwen Finch Reserve. Apart from the Philodromus, all these are small black money spiders and only identifiable under the microscope.
My thanks to Dr Peter Merrett who has confirmed my identifications and the County record status for these species, and who identified the Theridion for me.
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