Friday, 1 October 2010

Purse Web Spider - Atypus affinis

    Family - Atypidae
    Genus - Atypus
    Female - 10-15mm (upto 18mm including jaws/ chelicerae)
    Male - 7-9mm (upto 12mm including jaws/ chelicerae)
    Extra Mural Cemetery
    Brighton, East Sussex

    Extra Mural Cemetery
    Brighton, East Sussex


    Newly hatched Spiderlings
    Extra Mural Cemetery, Brighton

   Graeme Lyons of the Sussex Wildlife Trust informed me
    that Purse Web Spiders have been observed at Woodvale
    Crematorium/ Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery. I went to investigate
    and soon discovered these empty webs. Credit goes to Derek Smith for
    spotting the first one. We observed Magpie's digging around in the chalky
    grass verges so maybe they are the culprits digging out the Spiders?
    These amazing creatures live upto a depth of 50cm, rushing up to
    grab it's prey and pulling it through the web then repairing the 'Purse'
    after devouring it's catch.
    Looks more like a sock than a purse!
    This one was just lying on the grass. I have seen these before
    but didn't know what they were.
    I didn't find any Purse Web Spiders but I now know
    where they live and what to look for!
    Purse Web Spider Update:
    Found my first Purse Web Spider today! Very exciting!
    Hanging out on a South facing flint wall in Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery.
    Purse Web spiders belong to the same sub-order
    (Orthognatha / Mygalomorphae) as Tarantulas, Funnel Web Spiders
    and Trap-Door Spiders.
    Purse Web Spider (Male)
    Click HERE for a Video on YouTube
    Second Purse Web Spider sighting!
    As surpirised as I was to find one Purse Web Spider, 
    I was shocked to bump into another one, less than one week later!
    Same venue, different site.
    South-facing chalky soil verge.
    This fella was charging about, almost doing figure eights, around a gravestone.
    It was easier to film him as he was so active.
    Second Video on Youtube HERE

    Graeme Lyons and myself went back the following day, no sign of the
    Spiders but we found a new verge with many 'discarded' purse entrances
    just strewn about the place.
    I reckon this is an active Purse Web entrance. Great camouflage!
    Discarded Purse Webs. Dug up by Crows and Magpies?
    Or caught in a lawn mower?  
    Different site again.
    Brighton Extra Mural Graveyard
    Purse Web Spider update!
    I spent 3.5 hours scanning for Purse Web Spiders today.
    I was just about to give up and was on the only south-facing
    verge that I hadn't looked at before when all of a sudden this
    beautiful specimen appeared! It's a Female Atypus affinis!
    I never expected to see a Female wandering about so I feel very lucky!
    I alerted Graeme Lyons from SWT and he rushed over to view her. 
    He managed to get some amazing shots of her chelicerae/ jaws.
    See Graeme's Blog HERE.
    I was tempted to pick her up but when she bit down on a twig
    that Graeme was holding I changed my mind!
    Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery
    Click HERE for a video of her on Youtube.
    I went back to the same verge and she was there again -
    I spotted her as she rolled down the verge - seemed extra clumsy today.
    I couldn't resist holding her so I went for it, raised my pulse a bit!
    Real weighty Spider!
    Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery
    I observed two Female Atypus affinis at this same site today,
    both were under the same Grave. This is the first time I have
    tried out my new Camera - Nikon Coolpix 4500.
    Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery
    Viewty Lite + 30x Pocket Magnifier
    Video of 2nd Female Atypus affinis HERE

    Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery
    Atypus affinis No. 3
    Atypus affinis Female No.1 (Deceased)
    Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery
    I have found two dead females now. I'm wondering if, once
    they have bred and made their coccoons underground, do they vacate
    the Purse Web?
    I found this Male Atypus affinis walking around in the rain.
    He's the second Male I have found with a leg missing, a result of mating?
    Downs Crematorium Cemetery
    Newly molted Female Atypus
    I found a site of a large colony.
    I lifted a stone and her whole nest came up with it.
    She was sat with her Exuvia.
    Brighton Extra Mural Cemetery
    I am very happy to have found another Atypus colony.
    I observed 5 nests in a two metre stretch along the edge of a wall.
    Glynde Village
    East Sussex
    Male with shedded Exuvia
    Extra Mural Cemetery

    Extra Mural Cemetery
    Brighton, East Sussex

    Extra Mural Cemetery
    Brighton, East Sussex

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.