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Welcome to our general Forum page.  Please feel free to post a comment on any issue or topic area. If you upload a picture, it will be available for you to insert here with your post. IF YOU WANT HELP WITH IDENTIFICATION, PLEASE PROVIDE A FULL POSTCODE OR GRID REFERENCE AND DATE of the record in your post so that it can be added to the recording scheme. You can send a message or ask a question about British spider identification here. If your query is about spiders from other parts of the World, please find another forum. We are unable to help. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum. Find out more and Help adding forum posts. You will find some helper toolbar buttons in the add post and post editor, as well as your most recently uploaded pictures as toolbar buttons. Click on the toolbar picture to add it to your post.

Wed 29th January 2020 16:25 by Ben Crabb
Spider recording
Thanks for the response Peter. I have a USB microscope and I am intending to teach myself how to identify spiders. I have the field guide by Michael Roberts and I attempted my first identification last night on a spider I found inside my compost bin. I believe I am right in saying it was a Tegenaria species. I couldn't get it to species level as it appeared to be an immature female. Could you perhaps send me the contact details for the North Somerset area organiser? I am logged in to this site but don't seem to be able to access them. My email address is bjc79@hotmail.co.uk.

Many thanks.

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Wed 29th January 2020 12:03 by Peter Harvey
Currently no, there is no system to pick up records from iRecord, and the only records which can be submitted through the website are for a number of 'easily recognisable species'. The recording scheme works through a system of Area Organisers (see Area Organisers, contact details available to logged-on users), who undertake the essential role of verification and validation. In the absence of an Area Organiser, records can be sent directly to the National Organiser, Peter Harvey grayspeterharvey@gmail.com using the Excel template available from the "How should I send my records in?" paragraph of the Recording Spiders page.

Since a very large number of spiders (probably at least two thirds the British fauna) cannot be reliably identified from photographs and need microscopical examination of adults, confirmation is likely to include the need to see a voucher specimen, at least until a recorder's experience is known, and usually anyway for 'difficult species', some of which have id guidance available on the website here. Even long experienced arachnologists will at times need to send a voucher to other specialists for confirmation or identification and there is no shame in that. The most important aspect is recognising ones limits and when help should be sought. The recording scheme places enormous importance on the scientific integrity of the data in the scheme.

There is also more information available at Recording Spiders and guidance on recording spiders.

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Wed 29th January 2020 07:39 by Ben Crabb
iRecord?
Is it okay to submit spider records via iRecord? Will they get picked up and reviewed? Or is it preferable to do it through this website? Thanks for your help.
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Thu 23rd January 2020 20:50 by Gustav Clark
Thanks Peter.  For the sites I am looking at, all of the sub-habitats available would be incorrect, so I shall leave the field blank.  The hydrology choices are useful and I am filling them in. On management, I shall make a judgement as to whether the impact of the items in the list is great enough for it to be included.  On the site that I am currently looking the main intervention is manual removal of invasive birch and bracken, with grazing by ponies having much less effect.  There are some mires though where the ponies are very significant, breaking up the ground and creating bare mud, and for these the management information is very relevant

Whatever happens I shall make sure that any information that has not been captured does go into the comments.

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Thu 23rd January 2020 10:26 by Peter Harvey
You cannot add or edit SRS subhabitats or habitats - the whole point of these is to provide a fixed structured system that can be used in analyses such as the summary charts provided on the species pages. Any detail can be added in the comment field/s. You can get more information from the Recording Methodology page.

Within any large area of broad habitat, spiders are generally associated more with structural habitats and hydrological changes, and within a large broad habitat area it may be most sensible to set up smaller blocks with eg different hydrology as separate sites, as long as this is made clear in the site name.

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Wed 22nd January 2020 20:53 by Gustav Clark
Sub-habitat type when creating a site
I am setting up a new site in MapMate.  It is 90% heather, with bracken and young birch.  I have set the Habitat as Heath/moor, heather [05], but when I try to enter a sub-habitat there is nothing in the list which matches.  I had the same experience recording a fen which is primarily cut and grazed sedge, again quite undescibable in terms of the sub-habitats. Should I edit the sub-habitat table to add my own custom values or should it be left blank?  I would very much like to be able to specify as much detail as possible, as this feature greatly adds to the vale of MapMate.
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