Britain’s rarest spider makes comeback

Ladybird spider

From Wildlife Extra:

June 2008. By the early nineties the ladybird spider had almost been wiped out in Britain due to habitat loss, but now Forestry Commission wildlife experts are celebrating its burgeoning come-back. In 1993 it was thought there were as few as only 50 ladybird spiders left in the country.

The species‘ last stronghold in the South West was a 50-metre-wide patch of heath deep in a Forestry Commission woodland where around 30 individuals still survived. The foresters’ battle to save the spiders began when they cleared rhodendron and pines from around the site to give them more breeding room. By 1996 conservationists counted 139 ladybird spider burrows as the arachnids began expanding out across the area.

Forester Laurence Degoul, said: “Now we are looking for completely new habitats into which spiders from the site can be relocated. Thanks to our extensive heathland restoration work in the county there are a lot of places to choose from. But it is crucial that we pick a spot where the conditions are absolutely perfect.”

See also here.

Ladybird spider to be released into new areas by conservationists: here.

The ladybird spider – so called for its bright red body covered in black spots – was on the brink of extinction in the mid 1990s when a single colony of just 56 individuals was left in the UK. Since then conservationists have been helping it to spread further afield – and earlier this month it was released into one of the most diverse insect and spider habitats in the country at the RSPB’s Arne reserve in Dorset: here.

Harlequin ladybird invasion could endanger 1000 native UK species: here.

4 thoughts on “Britain’s rarest spider makes comeback

  1. Hello i am just wanting to know how big these spiders grow upto and how many were found and were they come from can you give me an idea of if they come from abrod


  2. Hi Tyler: Females are 8-16mm and males are 6-11mm.

    “By 1996 conservationists counted 139 ladybird spider burrows as the arachnids began expanding out across the area.” Probably, there are many more by now.

    The spiders are native to Britain. They may have come from abroad, but very long ago, in prehistory.


  3. Pingback: Wildlife at British RSPB reserves | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Ladybird spiders in Dorset, England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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