Saturday, 4 June 2011


    Mites are relatives of Spiders.
    Red Mite
    Lullington Heath
    Nr. Jevington
    East Sussex

Mothercare Spiders - Theridiidae

    Family - Theridiidae
    Genus - Theridion
    These Spiders are known as Mothercare Spiders as most
    of them will gaurd they're Egg Sac. Some even carry them around
    like a Wolf Spider (Lycosid) does.
    Theridion sisyphium or T. impressum ?
    Living on Gorse. She had a blue-green Egg Sac and a
    healthy appetite looking at all the remains in her web!
    Kings Standing
    Ashdown Forest


Raft Spider - Dolomedes fimbriatus

    Family - Pisauridae
    Genus - Dolomedes
    I've been visiting a small bog / marsh at King's Standing for a
    few weeks now, I had a feeling these Spiders were there as it
    is the perfect habitat for them. On my third visit I found this.
    From it's size and the fact it was in the bog, I figured it was a
    Raft Spider Exuviae (Moulted old skin/ Exoskeleton),
    so I looked some more. Almost immediately, this beauty
    stood out from the opposite bank.
    First sighting - took my breath away!
    These Spiders fish for a living. When they move across
    water their legs act like paddles.
    Photo by C. Houghton
    Here is a short video demonstrating this paddling effect:

    She's full of eggs - gravid.
    These Spiders can catch tadpoles and small fish.
    They can run across water to catch prey and can even remain
    submerged, if threatened, for almost an hour.
    Thought to be the largest Spider's in the Europe.
    Definately my most exciting find to date. I coudn't stop
    shaking with adrenalin. Even felt a bit sick with excitement.
    There was two of them. One carrying an Egg Sac.
    They're recorded as being 22mm in length but I'd say this one
    was bigger than that.
    Kings Standing
    Ashdown Forest
    Juvenile Dolomedes fimbriatus
    Thanks to a conservation volunteer who pointed me in
    the direction of a particular marsh/ bog I found this Spider.
    The site is managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
    He was hiding on a blade of grass.

    Old Lodge Nature Reserve
    Ashdown Forest

    Subadult Male
    Female No.1
    Female No.2
    Female No.3 With Spiderlings
    Female No.3
    Female No.4 With Egg Sac
    I sent this to Dolomedes expert Helen Smith for her study to "look at patterns
    of genetic variation in fimbriatus in the context of the fragmentation and
    isolation of the UK's lowland heathlands".
    King's Standing
    Ashdown Forest
    East Sussex