Pseudoscorpion Neobisium carcinoides, the Moss Neobisid

Although pseudoscorpions are widespread, they are rarely noticed because of their small size. This one is the commonest British species, its body measures 2mm. and it has 2 pairs of eyes. It was spotted walking across soil under leaf litter. Pseudoscorpions are arachnids and use their pincer-like pedipalps for feeding on small invertebrates such as mites and springtails. They inject a venom from glands in their pincers to paralyse their prey. They can produce silk from spinnerets in their jaws from which they make cocoons in which they shelter in cold weather. They live for several years.

Neobisium carcinoides, Shelf Held Coppice, 12 April 2014

Cercyon quisquilius, a Water Scavenger Beetle

This tiny beetle (about 2mm in length) is common and widespread, but easily overlooked. It is one of the Hydrophilidae, the Water Scavenger Beetles. It breeds in dung and decaying vegetation, the first ones emerging early in the year. It can be found throughout the summer and into the autumn. This one landed on the bonnet of my car!

Cercyon quisquilius, 30 March 2014, Bliss Gate

Dotted Border moth, female

The females of a few of our macro-moths are completely wingless such as the Vapourer and Mottled Umber. A few have tiny wings like the Early Moth and Winter Moth, but the vestigial wings of the Dotted Border female shown here are larger, about half size. This one was found well camouflaged on the trunk of an oak tree.

Dotted Border female, 11 April 2014, Cold Harbour Coppice

 

Salticus scenicus the Zebra Spider

Salticus scenicus, about 5mm long, is the most noticeable of the salticid jumping spiders. It can been seen now on sunny days, especially on house walls, fences and garden brickwork. Its variable black and white markings give rise to its common name of Zebra Spider. The males are distinguished by extra large chalicerae which are used in sparring with other males.

Salticus scenicus female, Bliss Gate, 1 April 2014

Salticus scenicus female, Bliss Gate, 1 April 2014

Salticus scenicus male, Bliss Gate, 1 April 2014