Unusual spider in Cemetery Park

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Local spider expert Edward Milner recently found an adult male Long-legged Cellar Spider (Psilochorus simoni) in Lockhart Field during his regular spider monitoring in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. This tiny relative of the ordinary Daddy-long-legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) is rather scarce in Britain, and almost always found in buildings. It is very unusual to find it outside buildings (the entrance to cavesĀ  may be its natural habitat), and this may be the first British record from grassland.

This is the only European species of the genus Psilochorus, which is mainly found in the Americas where there are 30-40 species. The species is widespread but very scattered in Britain. The species is widespread in western Europe. Most early records were from dry wine cellars, but it is now recorded in other indoor situations. It is thought to be possibly of American origin, imported first into France and then into Britain on wine bottles. For more information on this fascinating spider see the Spider Recording Scheme/British Arachnological Society Website.

Header photo: Psilochorus simoni (David Andersson)

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