- Written by Gus Jones
- Category: Insects
- Published: 18 June 2012
The first meeting of Arachnologists in Scotland for many years is taking place in Perth Museum on August 25th. SAM 2012 , the Scottish Arachnologists’ Meeting, is free and open to all. It provides a great opportunity for anyone interested in harvestmen, pseudoscorpions and spiders t to learn from others. It is hoped it will encourage more people to get more involved with arachnid survey and ecological studies of these important predators in Scotland.
From house spiders and garden arachnids to harvestmen of the Falkland Islands there is a varied programme of talks with an optional field day.
From small mesh weaver to the extraordinary gallows or wood ant spider and a number of lively jumping spiders Badenoch & Strathspey & the Cairngorms area harbours a fascinating range of arachnids including some scarce and threatened species that have been overlooked on sites threatened by development. BSCG has for example documented the wood ant eating or gallows spider Dipoena torva on three sites proposed for new housing development.
Reflecting improved knowledge BSCG anticipates there will be further species of arachnid highlighted as conservation priorities in the forthcoming second Cairngorms Local Biodiversity Action Plan.
Information on SAM 2012 is being provided on the British Arachnological Society website. BSCG can also supply booking forms for the meeting.
A male money spider (Dismodicus) found recently in Juniper on a threatened site in Strathspey. The prominent head extension appears to accommodate secretory pits and may be associated with mating but we know of no detailed study of the function of such structures in spiders.
Spiders are important predators here a spider on a threatened site in Strathspey with a leaf hopper. In turn spiders provide food for birds and some birds exploit spider silk when constructing their nests as recently described on Springwatch that has been following the fortunes of the nest of a goldcrest through summer gales.
An arachnologist using suction to sample spiders in Scots pine woodland in Strathspey that is a habitat supporting many kinds of arachnids.
Gallows spider with wood ant prey at a threatened site in Strathspey one of several where BSCG has found this spider that is on the Scottish Biodiversity List.