Invertebrate Safari Outing

Our September outing, which took place on the 14th, was an Invertebrate Safari around the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, led by Invertebrates Section head Dr Rhian Guillem.

Invertebrate section members Dr Keith Bensusan and spider expert Shane Shacaluga were on hand to help with identifications.  We commenced with a hunt around the Gardens as dusk fell, looking for any invertebrates we could find, but mainly concentrating on insects and spiders. Gibraltar’s largest ant - the conspicuous Mediterranean Carpenter ant Camponotus barbaricus were plentiful, going about their nocturnal foraging duties, along with the Crazy ant Paratrechina longicornis.  In general, insects were few and far between but there were plenty of spiders to keep us occupied. Some impressive Orb-weaving spiders Araneus pallidus and Araneus diadematus were spotted, along with the False widow Steatoda nobilis Huntsman spider Olios argelasius, the Feather-legged lace weaver Uloborus plumipes and the Gibraltar funnel-web Macrothele calpeiana, one of the largest species of spider in Europe.

 

We ended the evening by inspecting the light trap which had been set up in the Dell. The UV light had attracted a good number of moths, plant hoppers and some winged male ants.  The Vestal, Rhodometra sacraria was the most common moth observed, with at least 20 individuals on the trap. Other moth highlights included the striking black and white Ethmia bipunctella, the Small marbled Eublemma parva, the Purple marbled Eublemma ostrina, the Egyptian stemborer Erias insulana, and the Rush veneer Nomophila noctuella.

A full list of species seen can be found below:

 

Spiders (Arachnida: Araneae)

  • Araneus pallidus
  • Araneus diadematus
  • Macrothele calpeiana
  • Olios argelasius
  • Platnickina tincta
  • Steatoda nobilis
  • Tetragnatha sp.
  • Uloborus plumipes

 

Moths (Lepidoptera)

  • Anatrachyntis badia
  • Clepsis coriacana
  • Crocidosema plebejana
  • Dolicharthria bruguieralis
  • Earias insulana
  • Ethmia bipunctella
  • Eublemma parva
  • Eublemma ostrina
  • Euchromius sp.
  • Hellula undalis
  • Herpetogramma licarsisalis
  • Idaea efflorata
  • Idaea eugeniata
  • Lamoria anella
  • Lobesia botrana
  • Nomophila noctuella
  • Rhodometra sacraria
  • Spodoptera cilium
  • Symmoca sp.
  • Tuta absoluta

 

Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • Camponotus barbaricus
  • Crematogaster scutellaris (male)
  • Paratrechina longicornis
  • Pheidole pallidula
  • Temnothorax recedens (male)
  • Technomyrmex vexatus (male)

 

Others

  • Anacridium aegyptium (Orthoptera: Acrididae) Egyptian locust
  • Cornu aspersum (Mollusca: Helicidae) Common garden snail
  • Otiorhynchus cribicollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Weevil

 

Olios argelasius (Huntsman spider)

Olios argelasius (Huntsman spider)

Olios argelasius (Huntsman spider)

Olios argelasius (Huntsman spider)

Uloborus plumipes

Uloborus plumipes

Araneaus pallidus cf. male

Araneaus pallidus cf. male

Araneus diadematus female

Araneus diadematus female

Steatoda nobilis (False widow spider)

Steatoda nobilis (False widow spider)

Tetragnatha sp. (Stretch spider)

Tetragnatha sp. (Stretch spider)

Platnickina tincta

Platnickina tincta

Macrothele calpeiana (Gibraltar funnel-web spider)

Macrothele calpeiana (Gibraltar funnel-web spider)

Rhodometra sacraria (the Vestal)

Rhodometra sacraria (the Vestal)

Nomophila noctuella (the Rush veneer)

Nomophila noctuella (the Rush veneer)

Ethmia bipunctella

Ethmia bipunctella

Erias insulana (Egyptian stemborer)

Erias insulana (Egyptian stemborer)

Eublemma parva (Small marbled)

Eublemma parva (Small marbled)

Eublemma ostrina (Purple marbled)

Eublemma ostrina (Purple marbled)

light trapping

light trapping

Bush cricket

Bush cricket

Otiorhynchus cribicollis (weevil)

Otiorhynchus cribicollis (weevil)

Anacridium aegyptium nymph (Egyptian locust)

Anacridium aegyptium nymph (Egyptian locust)

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