Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday, 27 February 2014 18:01
Is one way of describing this bizarre looking creature. As for the four men who discovered it today up at Ditchling Beacon, carved from root vegetables might be more appropriate. Looking somewhere between the A-Team and Boyz II Men, we hit the site with all the natural history knowledge we had and we hit it hard. I got the bryophytes out of the way first and everyone else got lots of new species. I've featured these many times before and as I anticipate Steve Gale writing a blog with lots of photos in, I have left space for a link here. It was nice to show people lots of new species though, Ditchling Beacon is great for chalk-grassland bryophytes.
Things started getting exciting for me when we went sieving moss though. We hooked up with another of the bizarre harvestman Anelasmocephalus cambridgei shown above. This one was much paler, exactly the same colour of the chalky soil. I recorded four new species, all from sieving. Two ground bugs being Cymus claviculus and Drymus ryei. We also found this Drymus brunneus which seems to have fungus bursting out of every orifice. Ouch.
Just when I thought I had ran out of interesting specimens I recorded a male Walckaenaeria antica (my fourth in the genus and 213th spider). Finally, what I thought was a Bembidion tuned out to be a carabid tick. Syntomus truncatellus! A cracking day out, more of this please! Sadly though I was hugely gripped by the size of Steve's club sandwich and that is not a euphemism for anything, there is just nothing worse than ordering the wrong meal.