Alright, fun’s over guys, jumping spiders are now in the UK.
The rare species of arachnid has never been recorded in the country before until a recent discovery in a nature reserve in Cheshire.
The ‘athletic moss-dwelling’ critter, known officially as the Sibianor larae, was found in June at Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Holcroft Moss Nature Reserve, in Warrington.
Arachnologist Richard Burkmar came across the little jumper during a survey visit.
He later returned to the site with fellow arachnologist Richard Gallon, were they went on to find more examples of the spider.
The two then consulted jumping spider expert – strangest job title ever – Dr Dmitri Logunov, curator of arthropods at The Manchester Museum, confirmed it was Sibianor larae as well the first recognised sighting in the UK.
Dr Logunov had originally described the species when it was first discovered in 2001, naming it after his wife Larisa Logunov, according to the Metro.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Sarah Bennett said:
We were delighted to hear about all the special discoveries that have been made at our Holcroft Moss Nature Reserve.
The site is particularly special as it has never been exploited and cut for peat; something which is unusual for most peatland in the UK.
A number of other rare bog spiders were also discovered during the surveys, including the jumping spider Heliophanus dampfi, making it the only site in England where this has been recorded. It is definitely a special site for bog-loving wildlife.
Now for all the boring teacher stuff. Do I need to be worried about jumping spiders? Not really. They’ll bite in defense, but their bite is not of serious concern to humans.
As a result, these spiders are more likely to run away from people than attack them. Jumping spiders do have fangs which produce venom, but luckily for us the venom is not a medical threat.
Although jumping spider bites are uncommon, they may cause redness, itching, stinging and swelling. If you suspect a jumping spider has bitten you, clean the site with soap and water. Then, apply a cold compress over the spider bite location. Adults can also take aspirin or acetaminophen and antihistamines to relieve minor symptoms. However, if symptoms continue to worsen for more than 24 hours, play it safe and seek medical attention.
Unlike most spiders, jumping spiders are active during the daytime and prefer sunshine. They are excellent hunters, due to their jumping ability and swift reflexes. Jumping spiders can rapidly move both sideways and backwards for short distances, and pounce on passing prey. When threatened, jumping spiders may jump 20 times their body length. They employ silk as a dragline when they jump, and the dragline acts as a safety line.
Jumping spiders are unlikely to infest a home, as they prefer outdoor environments with plentiful vegetation and sunlight, such as grassland and prairies. In these locations, they feast on bollworms, cotton leaf worms, webworms, cotton flea hoppers, stinkbugs, leafhoppers and mosquitoes. On occasion, jumping spiders might gain entry indoors via clothing or plants that are brought inside.
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