Britain’s rarest spider found at a new site, and photographed

Wednesday 10th February 2016

Conservation charity Buglife is celebrating some exciting news.  Surveys for Britain’s rarest spider, the Horrid ground-weaver, have discovered a new population in Plymouth.   And, for the first time ever, this elusive spider has been captured in a photograph – alive!

The Horrid ground-weaver spider (Nothophantes horridus) has become somewhat of a local celebrity, after a successful Crowdfunder appeal started by Buglife raised over £10,000 in public donations. The funding has supported new surveys for this elusive species across Plymouth and South Devon.

The Horrid ground-weaver has only ever been found in the Plymouth area, and only ever at three sites, making this a globally important discovery.  The fourth population of the spiders is within an industrial site in the Cattedown area of the City.

Andrew Whitehouse, South West Manager at Buglife said “We’re delighted to announce that we’ve found the Horrid ground-weaver at a new site!  And to now have photographs of live Horrid ground-weavers is wonderful.  However, we need to continue the surveys and learn more about this special spider so we can ensure its survival.”

Andrew added “We would like to thank all the people who donated to our Crowdfunder appeal, without them this work would not have been possible.”

Buglife are working with the site owners to ensure that the Horrid ground weavers are protected, and will continue their surveys and research on the Horrid ground-weaver spider in the spring with funding support from the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.