John Partridge 

New Spiders for Worcestershire

Arctosa leopardus is one of a number of wet-land spiders that I had been hoping to find in the county, and I suspect that I found an immature specimen at Upton Warren  some years ago. However this year, I have found it at two sites:
Kempsey Common during the Recorders’ Day there, which produced both male and female specimens from two of the damp scrapes, and
Kemerton Lakes which produced one female from searching under clumps of fallen rushes.

This spider has a rather strange distribution, being wide-spread in Wales and East Anglia, with other sites along the south coast and in Devon. 

Nigma walckenaeria has now come to light three times, and it is difficult to say which ought to be the first record.  Harry Green found a specimen in his garden, which was immature, and hence a little dubious; Michael Liley found one in his living-room, which was mature, but had possibly arrived in a house plant; and more recently at Elmley Castle John Meiklejohn swept a mature specimen from vegetation near the picnic site/car park just south of the village. 

This spider has been known from Box Hill as far back as 1880, is well established in the Thames corridor, and has been found in Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. This may be yet another example of similar species showing up in the Thames and Severn valleys due to their similar climate.  For those who have the smaller Robert’s book, it is similar in appearance to Nigma puella, but without the red mark on the abdomen.  For those without the reference, it is a startlingly bright green, and is about 4 mm in body length. 

Monkwood’s Special Spider -Have you seen it recently? 

Monkwood is the only recently-known county home for Araneus marmoreus pyramidatus, a large handsome spider related to, and of similar size to, the garden spider Araneus diadematus.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t been recorded there since 1999, and I would like to know if anyone has seen it since.  It has the usual orb-web of the garden spider, spun in trees, bushes and herbaceous vegetation, usually above 1.5 metres. It is most commonly found in October, and is distinguishable by its yellow/cream abdomen with a brown triangle in the rear half. There are also old records for Kinver and Ashmoor Common, so it may be around elsewhere. 

Tegenaria gigantea – the big, hairy house spider
I have recently been given two dead males of this species, which presumably had succumbed after performing their reproductive duty, and it occurred to me that other people may have found them around the house this autumn, in which case I would be pleased to receive specimens, either through the post, or at the WBRC office, Lower Smite Farm. 

Apart from adding to the records, there is also the possibility of adding new county records for the two very similar species Tegenaria saeva and T. atrica.  As a matter of correctness, all three species can also be found outdoors, but they are not usually so conspicuous in these situations. 

HARVEY, P.R., NELLIST, D.R. & TELFER, M.G. (eds) 2002. Provisional atlas of British spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), Volumes 1 & 2. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre.
ROBERTS, M.J. 1995. Spiders of Britain & northern Europe. London: Harper Collins.  

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