Any help in identifying this species, found in the New Forest this week, would be much appreciated.
The Beech nut gives an idea of size.
Interim answer/suggestion from a non-spider chap: Steatoda grossa.
But you'll see there are other species of Steatoda found in Britain, and other related genera in the Theridiidae -
I'm not sure about Meta menardi as I've just read about the species occupying (soley), caves & mines etc. This one was found in the New Forest in Beech woodland. Although, having said that, it was dead so could have been dropped by a bird even tho' it was very much intact. I took a photo of it's underside if that helps?
That's interesting. It's an adult female and her epigyne (which in her case is the dark bar towards the top of the abdomen underside) doesn't look quite right for M. menardi but looks a reasonable match for M. bourneti. This species has been found previously in the base of trees in the New Forest. See -
I think that the large spines on its legs rule out Steatoda species. This must be a Meta species, but I wouldn't know which. Both Meta menardi and M. bourneti live in total darkness and are difficult to separate. M. menardi seems to be the common species, but it usually has very clearly marked red rings on legs. Let's see what the experts have to say about this.
Thanks Florin/ jaguarondi
To be specific about location, this Spider was found in Beech Woodland at Canterton (the site of the Rufus Stone) in the New Forest - not many miles from Burley which is mentioned on the link jaguarondi mentions, above
If Hampshire has a spider recorder it might be worth showing him/her the photos, especially the one showing the underside. They probably wouldn't feel happy confirming it as bourneti without examining it under the microscope, but you never know, and even if they don't it may still be of interest.
If it's considered desirable, I could visit the same spot tomorrow & see if it's still there - I know exactly where I put it after photographing it so provided it's not been had by a bird or deteriorated too badly, I could retrieve it & post it on to someone in an airthight container ...
Let me know
I've just looked for a Hampshire spider recorder but I can't find one (the Suffolk recorders are listed on the Internet I think, but not Hampshire). You could try contacting the British Arachnological Society. Their contacts page is http://wiki.britishspiders.org.uk/index.php?title=Contacts and maybe the one you need is the one for Spider Recording scheme. I can't guarantee he'll be interested, though I thought it was a nice find.