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Thought 2022 couldn’t get much worse? Think again.
The biggest spider species in the UK are increasing in numbers for the first time in years and they can grow to the size of a human palm.
Despite being on the brink of extinction just a decade ago, the fen raft spider is making a remarkable recovery.
While it’s good news that an endangered species is rising in numbers, we just wish it didn’t didn’t look so terrifying.
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Thankfully, the fen reft spider is harmless to humans – and good job too, as an RSPB report released this week stated that numbers are now into the thousands.
It’s the biggest of the UK’s 660 spider species and they can reach an impressive leg span of up to three inches.
The RSPB's Tim Strudwick said: "This is one of the UK’s rarest invertebrates, as beautiful as any, and we are really proud of the part our reserve and team has played in its recovery.
The spiders have a leg span of up to three inchesCreative Commons
"The females are impressive in size, but elegant and quite beautiful, even to an arachnophobe (like me!)."
Where can they be found? If you're so inclined, the best chance of spotting one is in wetland areas, such as RSPB Strumpshaw Fen in the Norfolk Broads.
Strudwick added: "The spiders are only seen in the grazing marsh ditches, and are fairly shy, but they are easy to find from June to September when the mature females have their young."
It’s not the only rise in spider numbers to make headlines recently, after people in the US brace for the increase in numbers of the flying joro spider.
Americans living on the East Coast may soon find themselves faced with an invasion of the hand-sized, venomous spiders that can fly using their webs.
Big, bright, and capable of weaving webs ten feet deep, the invasive spider species has already managed to distress some Georgians who have had first hand encounters with them.