Akkkkk! Jumping spider capable of leaping over an average human found in the UK for the first time
A species of spider that is capable of jumping over an average-sized human, even exceeding six feet, have been spotted in the UK for the first time ever.
An arachnophobe's worst nightmare has come to life as a species of spider that is capable of jumping over an average-sized human has been spotted in the UK for the first time ever. This rare type of arachnid, known as a Sibianor larae, was never spotted on British shores before. However, they were recently discovered by an arachnologist in June in Warrington, Cheshire at the Holcroft Moss Nature Reserve.
The insect, which is about the size of a matchstick head, was spotted during a routine survey. After the specialists returned to the site and found more of the animals in the bog, arachnologists Richard Burkmar and Richard Gallon enlisted an expert to identify the beast.
Dr Dmitri Logunov, the curator of arthropods at Manchester Museum, confirmed it was Sibianor larae, making it the first recognized sighting in Britain. Dr Logunov was the academic who first described the species, making it known to the scientific community in 2001. He had the honor of naming the new species and decided to name it after his wife, Larisa Logunov.
"We were delighted to hear about all the special discoveries that have been made at our Holcroft Moss Nature Reserve," Cheshire Wildlife Trust's Sarah Bennett told The Independent. "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."
Though this is the first time Sibianor larae has been identified as living in the UK, it is thought the spider is not a newcomer. The species may not have been spotted formally in the UK before, but it is thought to have lived in British bogs for millennia.
Following the Cheshire discovery, an old Lancashire specimen from Liverpool's World Museum, collected in 1924 has also been reidentified by Dr Logunov as Sibianor larae.
"Due to habitat loss there may, however, be no other suitable places left in Britain, emphasising the importance of this site and undamaged bog habitat in general," said entomologist Gary Hedges, of the World Museum to Daily Mail.
It has been previously described as an "athletic moss-dwelling" creature.