Sunday, 1 May 2016

Renewed Acquaintance with the Fen Raft Spider

With the weekend weather being a couple of degrees warmer than of late and with a reduction in wind chill, I spent Saturday morning walking along woodland edges towards the banks of the Cuckmere river. Butterflies were a little more numerous and a few Large Red Damselflies were seen.

Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) (female)

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) (teneral male)

Today, Carol and I went for a walk across Pevensey Levels to see what other creatures were taking advantage of the warmer temperatures. Several Large Red Damselflies were on the wing. We also saw our first Hobby of the year and heard Whitethroats, Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers. However, the main target of the day was to see if any Fen Raft Spiders would be tempted out into the sunshine. After searching several of last years hotspots I found two juveniles and then an adult male basking amongst the water vegetation. The spoon shaped palps that the male uses to deliver sperm to the female were clearly visible. 
Fen Raft Spider (Dolomedes plantarius) (male)

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