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The X-Files

X_filesAuthor Graeme Lyons

Ecologist

Two days. Two different invertebrate surveys. Two Xysticus crab spiders that I've not seen until now. Now by far the commonest Xysticus is Xysticus cristatus and you have to look through a lot of these to find the less common and scarce ones, so it really is quite surprising to see two new ones in as many days!

First up we have the striking Xysticus audax (how many other species begin and end with x?). It looks like a tiny skeleton (or maybe a stormtrooper) but the clincher is in the structure of the genitalia(this one is a male). Jane found this sieving bracken litter at Burton Pond.

Xysticus audax / Graeme Lyons Xysticus audax / Graeme Lyons

Now today, we picked up a scarce one being the HUGE Xysticus bifasciatus. Alice swept this from a heathy ride at Flatropers Wood

today. This one is a female.

Xysticus bifasciatus / Graeme Lyons Xysticus bifasciatus / Graeme Lyons

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