Havergate Island is not only an important place for birds, hares and flora, there are a lot of smaller things you don’t always think about! Myself and Steve a local volunteer recently spent a couple of days with Ian Dawson a spider expert out on Havergate Island looking at spiders.
Coastal Suffolk is an area of outstanding importance for spiders. The combination of shingle, saltmarsh, reedbed, and coastal grassland, coastal heaths and sand dunes all contribute to a unique and internationally important spider fauna including at least 6 RDB species.
We spent the day on the island sieving debris along the tide line and sweep netting the grass on the sea walls and then looking at what species we found. Most of the species we found are little black things which are hard to identify with a hand lens and so Ian took them away with him to id, but we did find some interesting jumping spiders and wolf spiders and also a Dysdera crocota (see pic) an impressive looking spider which feeds on woodlice.
I am now a spider convert and am keen to carry on surveying them on the island and my other reserves.
Photo Credit: Steve Everett
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