A couple of weeks ago Buglife asked the general public to get involved in the first national spider hunt in their homes and gardens. The spider hunt was a search for common types of spider such as House spiders, and Garden cross spiders, as well as a few rarer types.
Hundreds of people across the country took part in the spider hunt, recording over 13,265 spiders. Buglife estimates that the UK human population shares its homes and gardens with over 750,000,000 spiders - that's over 6 billion spooky spider legs running around. Spider hunters spent 470 hours searching for spiders in their homes and gardens with some very interesting findings.
|Garden cross spider (Araneus diadematus) © Greg Hitchcock|
|Map showing the sites where the Garden cross spider were recorded © Buglife|
The Garden cross spider was the most commonly seen spider being recorded by 9 out of 10 of all spider spotters. One lucky participant saw over a hundred garden spiders in his back yard in Nottingham!
We may even have a new world record - in Lancashire a Garden cross spider web was found measuring 15ft across!
Spider spotters reported Daddy long-legs spiders in Stirling, Scotland and in several locations in the North East of England. Previously this was thought to be rare in northern England and had even rarer in Scotland. An impressive 315 Daddy long-legs spiders were counted by an exceptionally keen spider hunter in Cambridgeshire.
|Spitting spider (Scytodes thoracica) © Roger Key|
|Map showing where Spitting spiders were recorded © Buglife|
An incredible 43 house spiders were found in one house in Norfolk
Inside a cavity wall in Bristol, 41 spiders shining in the dark were detected by a spider spotter armed with a torch! These spiders turned out to be Bronzed tube web spiders - our largest tube web spider measuring up to 22mm long. Their amazing iridescent jaws reflect a shimmering, green light!
About half the spider spotters thought there were more spiders in their homes and gardens this year than last year, only a quarter thought that there were fewer.
Bronze tube web spider (Segestria florentina) © Luis Miguel Bugallo Sanchez
In autumn people often become more aware of spiders – large, conspicuous house spiders are actively searching for mates and Garden cross spiders are getting fat with eggs.
Spiders are amazing animals that live fascinating and useful lives. Buglife would like to thank all of people who took part in the Spider Hunt and sent us their astonishing observations.