SPIDER SUMMER SURVEY

A survey of Spiders was undertaken by Edward Milner Bsc, Dip ED, to determine the spider fauna of Bigwood Nature Reserve

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Introduction

Big Wood is unusual among the fragments of ancient woodland in north London. There are several spiders which are characteristic of ancient woodland in the London area but which have not been found at all in woods that are not ancient.

Summary

Of the 51 species recorded so far the majority (27) were collected by sweepnetting the foliage, ground vegetation and dense bushes. Two bark-living species were found and 3 species from under logs or under bark. The leaf litter has so far only produced 19 species,

Previously 23 species were recorded from the wood before the current survey began in September 2017.

Methods

Nine visits to the wood were made between mid-June to early November, using the following techniques.

Sweepnetting 

Using a net to sweep vegetation to dislodge spiders at all levels

Leaf-litter sorting

Handfuls of leaf-litter are transferred to a garden sieve over a plastic sheet.

Brushing

Using a household sweeping brush to dislodge spiders from hollows in the bark of trees.

Searching under bark of dead logs and underneath such logs