Six-eyed spider at Drumbeg

March 8th 2016

Putting a name to many spiders requires their capture and the use of a microscope, especially the tiny money spiders (Linyphiidae). Fortunately, some of the larger ones are readily identifiable. An example is this six-eyed spider, Segestria senoculata, which Gwen Richards photographed on 4th March 2016 on a rock outcrop near Cnoc a’Gharbh Doire (NC122312) on the Drumbeg peat track. Its abdomen bears a dark central band, consisting of a series of lobes connected by narrow necks, ‘reminiscent of the pattern on an adder’s back’ as the great arachnologist W.S. Bristowe puts it in his book The world of Spiders (1958).

This spider is about 9mm long and lives in a silken tube in a crevice in a wall or under a stone, from the mouth of which extend a dozen stout threads acting as ‘fishing lines’. It is one of some ten species of six-eyed spiders found in the British Isles; the rest have eight eyes. Only one other member of this group has been found locally, the tiny pink Oonops pulcher, which can occur in buildings.

Ian M. Evans

Segestria senoculata. Photo G. Richards
six-eyed spider Segestria senoculata. Photo G. Richards

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings

Red Kite

single bird over Field Centre, Inchnadamph (Chris Rix). Photo Gallery - Birds (07/08)

Scotch Argus Butterfly

Single in garden at Baddidaroch Road, Lochinver (AS) (07/08)

Hen Harrier

Single ringtail (adult female or juvenile bird of either sex) at Loch na Claise, Clashmore (Andrew MacKenzie) (06/08)

Common Dolphin

50+ very active animals long way out from Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (06/08)

Fulmar

five well grown downy chicks on cliffs around Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH). Photo Gallery - Birds (06/08)

Shag

200+ birds on rocks below Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (06/08)

Lesser Black-backed Gull

two adult birds, Loch Kirkaig (DAH) (05/08)

Curlew

three birds, Loch Kirkaig (DAH) (05/08)

Map