Spider success

Saturday 31st October 2015

Fen Raft Spider

The fen raft spider, one of the UK's biggest spiders, is thriving at two Trust nature reserves following a pioneering translocation initiative

Until relatively recently the spiders were only known in only two locations in the country, a small population at Redgrave & Lopham Fen and another on the Pevensey Levels in Sussex. In recent years a pioneering translocation project, headed by Dr Helen Smith, means they can now be found at Carlton Marshes, and in strong numbers at Castle Marshes. Dr Smith, speaking about the translocation success at last week's Suffolk Wildlife Trust AGM said 'there's nothing special about being on the brink of extinction, what's special is being big and bold and visible.'

The spiders have also been successfully introduced to sites managed by the RSPB as detailed in this recent article: http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.aspx?id=409081

Fen raft spiders are truly fascinating creatures, they are fiercely protective mothers and carry enormous silk egg sacks under their abdomens until the spiderlings hatch - these egg sacks can contain up to 700 eggs. They are also the only European species of spider that eats vertebrates.

Their comeback is a true conservation success. Find out more at: http://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/FenRaftSpider

 

Tagged with: Species, Fen raft spider