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Fri 29th June 2012 09:01 by Peter Harvey
Re: Is this Heliophanus cupreus
Your Heliophanus would need to be adult to determine to species, and the appearance of the legs in the photograph suggests it may be a juvenile, but in any case there is a lot of variation in abdominal pattern and leg markings in Heliophanus and they need microscopical examination of the genitalia to identify to species with any certainty.
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Thu 28th June 2012 18:49 by Roger Wright
Is this Heliophanus cupreus
Is this Heliophanus cupreus Copyright: Roger Wright My wife called me to identify a strange looking beetle on our landing at the top of the stairs.  It proved to be a jumping spider 5 or 6 mm in size.  I photographed it before letting it go but wish now I had kept it a little longer as I have had trouble identifying it using the country life guide to spiders.  Having seen a few images on the web with pale legs I am a little more convinced but would like confirmation.  I live in a typical suburban semi in Bexley Kent! Thanks Roger
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Sun 17th June 2012 10:46 by Naomi Ewald
Philaeus chrysops
Thank you, that's really interesting. There are several exhibitors here from France and I suspect that the little traveller has arrived with them.
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Sun 17th June 2012 09:55 by Peter Harvey
Philaeus chrysops
This certainly appears to be an adult male Philaeus chrysops. The species is occasionally imported with produce from Mediterranean countries including for example tiles from Spain and Italy. It seems however that this species is unlikely to establish itself outdoors in Britain, at least currently, and there has been no evidence of any established populations (indeed to my knowledge no females have ever been recorded in this country, always only the spectacular male) - although the spider would be a nice addition to our fauna!

It would be worth knowing whether the lady had visited or had bought items originating from the Mediterranean recently.

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Sat 16th June 2012 23:39 by Naomi Ewald
Philaeus chrysops
I work for Pond Conservation and this week we have a stall at Gardener's World Live at the NEC in Birmingham. A member of the public bought a spider into the charity area today (16/06/2012) and asked if anyone could help identify it as she had found it on her head. I was pretty sure I recognised it and bought it home with me to look at it more closely. I think it is Philaeus chrysops would someone be able to confirm this for me from the photo and perhaps tell me a little more about this rather beautiful jumping spider.

Sorry that the picture is not better quality - it wouldn't stay still :)

Thank you.

Philaeus chrysops Copyright: Naomi Ewald

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Mon 11th June 2012 16:22 by Peter Harvey
Dear Brian

There are a number of Steatoda species found in Britain, all so-called 'false widow' spiders. Three are possible in or near buildings, S. bipunctata (very widespread), S. grossa (widespread and sometimes very frequent in the southwest, but becomes much scarcer further north and east, but in the last few years seems to be increasing) and S. nobilis, the one which gets the press for biting humans (originally confined to the south coast, now increasingly turning up elsewhere in southern England and found in 2006 in Barry, S. Wales). Steatoda nobilis has on occasions been responsible for bites, even though many of the cases publicised for this are almost certainly due to another cause. If you can upload a picture or send one to me at grays@peterharvey.freeserve.co.uk as an attachment I can see if it can be identified.

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Sun 3rd June 2012 15:37 by Brian Richardson
false widow spider
does anyone know of any sightings of the false widow spider in staffordshire,i removed the plinths from kitchen units and discovered 5 spiders in seperate webs,each had its own remains of prey under the webs and one had the carcass of a house spider more than twice the size of the spider which had consumed it, after looking on the internet at which type of spider they could be the they very much resembled the false widow spider ,i have some pictures which i will try and upload .i kept one under a glass to observe it and at first it deposited a quantity of whitish fluid on the glass,could they be false widows?if so is it the kind of habitat they live in and how could they have got there ?
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