Saturday, 17 January 2015

Days left to save one of the world’s rarest spiders from developers

One of the world’s rarest spiders is found only in an old limestone quarry in Plymouth that is under threat from a new housing estate.

Plans to build new houses in the quarry could push the tiny, secretive Horrid Ground Weaver spider (Nothophantes horridus), close to extinction says Buglife, the conservation charity petitioning for its survival.

This very small money spider, which has only ever been seen at two sites in the entire world, is only known at three places in Plymouth, one of which has already been built on and lost.

Rather than a comment on its character, the spider got its emotive name from the Latin for bristly – horridus.

It is tricky to find due to its size and the fact that it prefers to live deep in the cracks and crevices of the limestone, only coming out at night to hunt.

Originally this latest development that threatens the spider’s habitat was refused by Plymouth Council but the applicant is appealing the decision and a planning inquiry is due to start on the 20th January.

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