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Horrid ground-weaver

The Horrid ground-weaver (Nothophantes horridus) is one of the rarest invertebrates in the UK; it may also be one of the rarest spiders in the world! Buglife are undertaking surveys and research to learn more about this species and support its conservation.

Update February 2016: We are very excited to announce the discovery of a new population of the Horrid ground-weaver in Plymouth!

 Update March 2015: Thank you to everyone who pledged to our crowdfunder campaign and helped us reach our target, an amazing £10,485 was raised to help save this little spider! The surveys will soon be underway and their findings will help inform an emergency conservation plan.

 The Horrid ground-weaver spider (Nothophantes horridus) is a tiny money spider (Linyphiid). This spider is endemic to the UK, and so rare it has only been found in three places in the entire world! The sites are all within a small area of Plymouth, in South West England.

Nothophantes horridus (C) John Walters

Nothophantes horridus (C) John Walters

The spider’s name comes from the fact that its body and legs are rather hairy – the Latin origin for the word horrid is bristly.

The Horrid ground-weaver spider is listed by the IUCN as a Critically Endangered species.  One of the three known sites has been lost to development, and another has recently been threatened by an application to build houses on the site.

There is an urgent need to establish the status and distribution of this species and better understand its ecology.  Buglife are surveying historical sites, and sites within similar ecological conditions in Plymouth and South Devon.  The project will also undertake ecological research into the habitat requirements of this species.

Take a look at this amazing new video of the Horrid ground-weaver, filmed by John Walters.

This project is supported by Crowdfunder donations and by the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.

Thank you to: Claire Pritchard, Matt Prince, John Fanshawe, ejacobson, Versi, Sally Morgan, Jules Howard, RGallon, lelly, dbromley, Jo Fitz, celiabee, jimandpat, Colin Turvey, Paul Hetherington, Rob Sheldon, Michael Bradley, penninevalley, StephenBriggs, and everyone else who made a donation our Crowdfunder appeal – this project would not have been possible without your support.