Before I get going, a cautionary note on getting over excited about interesting looking spiders… In my previous blog post, I shared a picture of an ‘almost’ mature male Araniella sp which was orangey-red coloured and looked like a credible candidate for the scarce Araniella displicata. My friend, and local spider expert, David Carr, found a similar one on Wanstead Flats a couple of weeks before mine, took it home to let it mature/moult and examined it. It turns out it was ‘just’ a reddish Araniella opisthographa (one of the common ‘Cucumber spiders’).
So, with that warning as a caveat… read on (no detailed genital spider identification here so everything below is simply the art of the possible; probable at best).
David also told me about a small colony of the nationally scarce jumping spider, Salticus zebraneus that he had found and confirmed from one of the copses on Wanstead Flats. On my fourth attempt to find one, and when a rare beam of sun lit up a tall tree stump I found a small Salticus moving in and out of the woody crevices. From the size, markings, and habitat, it is likely (but not definite) that this is Salticus zebraneus. Note that their bigger bolder cousins, like Salticus scenicus are commonly found on houses etc (Salticus sp is common in my garden).
In my last post, I shared a strong candidate for Philodromus rufus – a spider we know is present on Wanstead Flats. Well, here is another very strong candidate but this time for the even rarer Philodromus buxi. This was beaten from Oak. The colouration, the markings on the legs, the fact that this species has been found here before all make this is possible, but obviously not confirmable without Get Det, so I have dutifully submitted it on iRecord as Philodromus sp and added the cheeky ‘candidate for P. buxi‘ in the comments.