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Crambus perlella
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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
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Essex Spider Group

The Essex Spider Group was set up in 1986 by Kate Hawkins just before the launch in 1987 of the national Spider Recording Scheme jointly run by the British Arachnological Society and the Biological Records Centre.

At the end of that year Kate had to leave the county and leadership of the group passed to Peter Harvey. The Essex Spider Group has consisted of a core of four members up to the present day, Peter, David Carr, Ken Hill and Ray Ruffell.

Essex Spider Group Copyright: Jo Ruffell
photograph by Jo Ruffell

We have covered much of Essex in our efforts to obtain comprehensive coverage of spiders, resulting in over 144,465 records for the county, mostly for the period 1986-the present. There are reliable data for over 450 species, over two thirds of the national fauna. However there are still no recent records for sixteen of these species, most of which must be considered extinct in the county.

spider records by year Copyright: Peter Harvey

All spider data have been submitted to the Spider Recording Scheme and the Biological Records Centre, and Peter Harvey the National Organiser from 1999 until early 2021, with the help of David Nellist (the previous National Organiser) and many other arachnologists, prepared the first detailed national atlas of British spiders, based on 10km square distributions. This was published in February 2002 and contains much information not previously available on our national spider fauna.

Interesting spider distribution patterns