Leader: Mike Waite (Living Landscapes Manager Surrey Wildlife Trust)
11 members of our Society visited Hankley Common, hoping to see the Great Fox Spider. Mike had spent two years searching for the spider that was thought to be extinct from the common, his hard work paid off. There were high hopes that one might be seen on the walk. To our delight one was found a very tiny juvenile.
Initially the weather was dull, other heathland insects were hard to find, that is until the sun came out, what a difference, Red-flash bugs, Red-tailed Sand-wasp, Green-eyed Flower Bee and many more were spotted.
The Common is owned by the MOD, and had a bad fire in 2022, but is now slowly recovering. In particular the heather, creating a beautiful pink/purple haze everywhere. Lots of Bilberry, sometimes known as Hurts, there was Wood Sage, bright yellow Dwarf Gorse, Cudweed, some White Bell Heather, Water Pepper, and Gypsywort, a Holly Blue butterfly and a Small Heath, made an appearance.
A morning walk in an area that once the hills had been climbed offered fantastic views.
INVERTEBRATE SPECIES LIST
Red-flash bug Alydus calcaratus. Nationally Scarce, and a mimic of the spider-hunting wasps.
Bombus jonellus, the Heather Bumblebee.
Ammophila pubescens Heath Red-tailed Sand-wasp.
Agelena labyrinthica a spider related to our house spider, this was a mating pair.
Bombus terrestris Buff-tailed Bumblebee
Myrmeleotettix maculatus, the Mottled Grasshopper. A small grasshopper which has many colour variations.
Thyridanthrax fenestratus Mottled Bee-fly, a cleptoparasite of the Ammophila.
Dark ground-spider of the Zelotes species, most likely Z. petrensis. Nationally Rare.
Aeshna cyanea Southern Hawker Dragonfly.
Alopecosa fabrilis the Great Fox Spider, a tiny juvenile.
Philanthus triangulum a solitary wasp, cleptoparasitic on honey- and other bees.
Anthophora bimaculatum, the Green-eyed Flower Bee.
A crab-spider of the Xysticus genus, most likely cristatus.