One of Britain's rarest spiders, the horrid ground-weaver, was photographed for the first time. The photos show the critically endangered colony of spider after being discovered in a fourth area on a site in the Cattledown area in Plymouth. The elusive species of spider had only been found at three areas in the city.
The horrid-ground weaver or Nothophantes horridus, is considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). A previous housing plan was dismissed after the local government and the planning department decided that pursuing the project will be harmful to the spiders. Conservationists were delighted to see the photographs captured, as they show how successful their efforts were to save the spiders.
"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," Andrew Whitehouse from Buglife, an organization that aims to save bugs and insects, said.
"However, we need to continue the surveys and learn more about this special spider so we can ensure its survival," he added.
The spider garnered public attention after a Crowdfunder movement started by Buglife in 2015 raised about £10,485 ($15,242.20) from donations. The organization in partnership with Plymouth City Council and thousands of citizens worked hard to propose the dismissal of the housing project supposedly situated on the habitat of the spiders.
This species of spiders usually live in narrow fissures in limestone. It is a relatively small spider with a total body length of just 2.5 millimeters. The spider was first recorded in 1989 and again in 1995. Its Latin name, Horridus, means bristly mainly because its body is hairy.
At present, Buglife and its volunteers will be working with site owners to ascertain that the spiders are protected. They plan to conduct surveys and research work in the spider species with funding support from the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.
"The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right," the organization posted on its website.