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Country diary: a moment's sympathy for the fen raft spider

16.10.2018
Příroda
Carlton Marshes, Suffolk: These dedicated arachnids remind me of some Gaia-like goddess wrapped over the mantle of the EarthInstead of the inflated hysteria triggered by the recent school "outbreaks" of false widow spiders, let's spare a moment's sympathy and take pleasure in one of their relatives, the fen raft spider. Dolomedes plantarius has just three tiny fragmented British territories: one in south Wales, another on the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex and a third, only discovered as late as 1956, here in Suffolk and Norfolk.A recent expansion in East Anglia is largely the work of our region's own spiderwoman, Helen Smith, whose main superpower is dedication. She has bred and housed thousands of tiny raft spiderlings in her family home, and then released them at sites like Carlton, where they are presently thriving. There are now about 200 breeding mothers at this Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve and - another triumph for Smith - a growing colony just downstream at the neighbouring Castle Marshes. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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