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Reviving the UK’s largest spider

Mar 27, 2022 07:18 GMT+7

Spiders the size of an adult’s palm are on the rise in the UK.

According to the Suffolk and Sussex Wildlife Foundation, this is a giant raft spider, once on the verge of extinction but thanks to conservationists, they have reappeared.

Reviving the UK’s largest spider
‘Reviving’ the largest spider in the UK

For many people, the large, rough appearance of spiders will make you terrify. But because giant raft spiders are not venomous, scientists think they are not scary at all.

They typically grow up to 20mm in length and 70mm in stride. Although giant rafts are a spider’s worst nightmare and some small prey, fortunately they are not harmful to humans.

According to experts, the giant raft spider has a dark body and cream stripes on the sides. It is the largest of the 660 spider species in the UK.

People in the town of Cheshire, England were quite worried and panicked when they saw the appearance of giant spiders. They have very long legs, easy to scare people seeing for the first time. Some spiders are even as large as mice.

'Reviving' the largest spider in the UK

Giant raft spiders raise their young in crystal-like webs. They live in a ditch environment that helps to create a breeding network and an abundant source of prey.

Tim Strudwick, expert at the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals, said: “This is one of the rarest invertebrates in the UK. We are really proud to see spiders in the midst of a resurgence.

The females are impressive in size, elegant and quite beautiful. Spiders often appear in swamp ditches and are quite shy. They are easy to find from June to September when adult females have young.”

As of 2010, there were only three populations of giant rafters in the UK. In 2012, scientists released spiders into the sanctuary at Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk Broads in the hope that they would thrive.

However, it was not until a few years later that they noticed a change and spiders appeared more. During the season from July to October 2014, the number of nursery networks was only 184.

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