Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Call to conserve 'crucial' rare Wales spider species

 27 October 2017

Action is needed to conserve Wales' rare spider species, including those which only live underground, a review has found.

Some of the 500 species of spiders that live in Wales are found almost nowhere else in the world, according to Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

They include cave spiders found in two places in south Wales and sand running spiders on beaches and sand dunes.

NRW said spiders were "crucial" to the environment.

The review, conducted by NRW in conjunction with the British Arachnological Society, found there were 654 different species of spider in the UK - with almost 500 found in Wales.

Of those, 18 species were critically endangered, with 84 species being endangered or vulnerable in Britain.

They include:
The sand running spider, which is a master of camouflage, found at three locations in Wales, including sand dunes at Morfa Harlech in Gwynedd

The cave dwelling spider, found at only two locations in south Wales, which spends its entire life underground

The fen raft spider, found at Pant y Sais National Nature Reserve and Crymlyn Bog, Swansea - it is one of Britain's largest spiders, with females measuring 13-22mm and males 10-16mm

Rhodri Dafydd, senior reserve manager for NRW, said of the sand running spider: "They're a fantastic looking thing. They're one of the most camouflaged spiders we've got, it looks exactly like a piece of sand so we have our work cut out looking for it.

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