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Sunday, 5 April 2020

Another jumping spider

This intriguing creature was sitting behind the hasp on my garden shed door this afternoon. Fortunately it didn't go far while I ran indoors to get my camera.

I could see from its shape that it was a jumping spider, but even smaller than the zebra jumping spider (see my post on this blog, 25th of March ). This is a male, body 3-4 mm long.

I think he's a Pseudeuophrys erratica, a species which has a decidedly northern and western distribution: South Pennines, North Wales and parts of Scotland but described as 'nationally scarce' in the British Arachnological Society's field guide.

They live on walls and piles of stones and leaf-litter. Their bodies are iridescent and, like other jumping spiders, the males use their legs in courtship displays.

To be sure that he isn't one of the other two Pseudeuorphrys species examination under a microscope is necessary (if I can catch him!). I'll pass my pictures on to the Arachnological society and get advice. Nice to think that I might have a nationally scarce species in my garden in Halifax!

I'll post any more information when I have it - they'll probably say 'P.erratica? oh, no, nothing like it!'.

Pleased to find a lovely and interesting spider, whatever species he turns out to be.


  1. Hi Julian
    I hope that you are keeping well.
    Your spider is most likely to be P. lanigera. I found the first record for Yorkshire in the 1980's. It is now fairly widespread. P. erratica is quite possible though and would be a good record. The palps are quite different though and easily separated.

    1. Thanks Bruce, I'll put another post on if I find out anything either way.

  2. Hi again Julian
    I knew I had recorded this species before! See records below. First record confirmed be Mike Roberts
    in 1987 and then 10 years later, my house in 1997. (Records from SRS) clearly not a common species.

    1 Rough Hey Wood SE02 01 Aug 1987 Hoyle, B. Roberts, M.J.
    2 Rough Hey Wood, Highlee Clough, upper wood SE049212 09 Aug 1987 1m Hoyle, B
    3 Rough Hey Wood,Triangle (MIXED WOODS) SE049212 09 Aug 1987 Hoyle, B.
    4 Rough Hey Wood,Triangle SE049212 09 Aug 1987 Hoyle, B.
    5 Halifax SE077247 15 Jun 1997 1m Hoyle, B.

    1. Hi Bruce, word back from the British Arachnological Society is that it is a male lanigera, but a subadult which is why the palps look superficially like those of an erratica.

      Glad they were able to clear it up for me and it's still an interesting spider.