stevegregory's picture

Ghost spider beaten from tree

Observed: 25th June 2013 By: stevegregory
British Myriapod and Isopod Group
Invertebrates expert

Several pallid female Philodromus spiders were beaten from lower branches of Oak saplings on a riverside (Thames) meadow.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture


An interesting post - unusual. I cannot contribute much but I have taken a photo-interest in our own spiders here (Orkney).
I ran into the obvious "you can't tell until you look at their genitalia.." stuff but I do have some startling pictures and Roberts' book.
So, tell be, how did you 'do it' here, not just the lookin' but the photo?
Actually Philodromus albidus is not specially difficult (I read). Perfect lookalikes are abundant on the web and distribution fits snugly.
I ran into this
On the basis of your certainty and my weblundering - an agreement then!
Are all UK spiders dealt as well as this on that site?

stevegregory's picture

Hi Derek

With regard to your question above - I was specifically sweeping low oak branches for this species because it not uncommon around these parts and that's the easiest way to find it (targeted local experience) - but that's what you didn't want to know.

The photo was taken of the specimen immersed in alcohol viewed under a microscope. I have an insta-crapic camera (Sony Cybershot) which has a lens of similar diameter to the microscope objective. I point that down the microscope objective and snap a shot when it actually focuses on the specimen. A bit fiddly, but it works! A SLR won't work because of the larger diameter lens. I then trim and resize the image in a photo-editor before posting (neat and tidy - NOT like me).

The centipede in was cleared by immersing in Clove Oil until the coxal pores were apparent (safer than the recommended method of boiling in Lactic Acid!). Otherwise same 'photo' methodology.

I normally use this method to make taxonomic line drawings by tracing the photo (cheating I know, but I'm not an artist!). e.g see

SRS website intends to do all UK spiders at some point - possibly not yet?

Modern technology is amazing.

Best wishes


andyk's picture

Better looking

The spider is also better looking than Steve, aan both are known to have imbibed alcohol!

Andy Keay

stevegregory's picture

Hi Andy

The spider is a lot younger than me (and me is younger than you - no comment!).

I only pickle my specimens in used alcohol, I keep the new stuff for myself!

Have you found Opilio canestrinii in your patch yet - it will be there!

andyk's picture


Very few harvestmen about on the local patch this year - mostly D. ramosus - but I'll keep looking.

Andy Keay