Thursday, 26 January 2012

Thanatus vulgaris

    Family - Philodromidae
    Genus - Thanatus    

    My friend Davyd Skull sent me these next two Photographs of a Thanatus vulgaris
    that he found in a box of Crickets he had purchased for his Tarantulas.
    Many thanks to Gary Bradley of who identified the Spider:
    "I had an email from someone a couple of years ago with a very similar
    spider, also found in a box of crickets. It's a cosmopolitan species which
    sometimes shows up 'in the wild' in this country - doubtless from similar
    sources. It belongs to the family Philodromidae, the Running Crab Spiders.
    Apparently we've got two native species of Thanatus, one widespread
    but not common (T. striatus), the other a national rarity (T. formicinus)".

    Photographs by Davyd Skull
    January 2011
    I sent these Photo's to Peter Harvey of the British Arachnological Society.
    Many thanks to Peter for his invaluable knowledge and allowing me to quote
    him here and throughout this Blog:
    "Thanatus vulgaris in southern Europe may have an extremely complex
    taxonomy with a range of closely similar species involved.   
    The two records we have in the recording scheme, one is the original record
    of its occurrence outdoors in a field of winter wheat and the other is an
    established population indoors in Edinburgh Zoo. No doubt other populations
    have established in similar situations elsewhere in the country".

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