Rare spiders found in Delamere Forest

TWO rare spiders have been found in Delamere Forest following a recent survey.
The survey, carried out by the Tanyptera Trust, revealed the present of the jumping spider, Sitticus floricola at two sitges, bringing the total number of sites in Cheshire to 10 and the money spider, Glyphesis cottonae, at four sites, almost doubling the number of sites in Cheshire.
Sitticus floricola, measuring 3.5mm and 7.5mm across, is a small day- hunting spider which uses its big eyes to judge its impressive jumps.
The British Arachnological Society recently published their Spider Status Review in which Glyphesis cottonae was listed as vulnerable (nationally rare), and Sitticus floricola as near threatened (nationally rare).
Both species live on sphagnum found in the boggy areas of Delamere Forest.
Extensive restoration work carried out over the last four years, through a partnership between Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission, has involved re-wetting areas of the forest to bring them back to their natural state.
Katie Piercy, Delamere Mossland officer at Cheshire Wildlife Trust has been involved in the project to re-wet areas of the forest.
She said: “Species such as these rare spiders thrive in bog habitats and that’s exactly what we have been working hard to create in Delamere. The fact that the number of sites where these species are being recorded has increased mean that our work is achieving its aim of re-establishing this habitat. Dragonflies and plant species have also benefited and we have been able to record significant differences in the variety of species now using the sites.”
This habitat restoration project won a Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management Best Practice award this year. The work is supported by Natural England, WREN’s FCC Biodiversity Action Fund, the British Dragonfly Society and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

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