Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Monday, 18 May 2015

How brave am I?

On another failed foray into the Blaenserchan valley to track down the green-winged orchid found by Steve Carter, I happened on this small spider crossing a well worn path among regenerating heathland. Not knowing its name I took several photographs before letting it go about its business. Transpires it's Steatoda phalerata one of the false widow spiders and related to those deadly individuals periodically portrayed by the Daily Mail as 'venomous spiders'. 

Seems its been recorded in the vice county before but it depends on which data source you access as to it's frequency.
  • National Biodiversity Network (NBN)  - just a single 1km record;
  • LRC Wales - two 10km records
  • Spider and Harvestman Recording Scheme - six records covering four 1km squares.  


  1. I was shocked to see the new path alongside the Blaenavon to Brynmawr road seems to have gone through the area where Bee Orchids were sighted last year. Very disappointing if that is the case.

  2. Care was taken to minimise the ecological impact of the new path. There are bee orchids close by but these won't be affected. The path has avoided the use of hard surfacing and has been reseeded with an upland seed mix.

    Thanks Steve


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