Fen raft spiders on the rise

Wednesday 10 February 2010, 10:30

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

Mike Davies photographed this amazing spider in 2009 on the Tennant Canal at Pant y Sais Fen - an SSSI not far from Neath.


These amazing spiders reach around 5cm in length when fully grown but are completely harmless and extremely rare so don't panic.

To put it into context - up until a few years ago, this species was only found in two locations in the whole of Britain and they were both in eastern England.

It is one of Europe's largest and rarest spiders and protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.


We're very lucky to have them in Wales and the population seems to be thriving. The spider feeds on small fish such as sticklebacks and tadpoles and other aquatic invertebrates.

When the prey is located the spiders can actually run across the surface of the water to attack and can even hunt underwater by running up and down reeds!

Watch a clip about this remarkable arachnid from Iolo's Welsh Safari:

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

You can see some nice photos of the spider on www.arkive.org/fen-raft-spider

Find out more on this website dedicated to the fen raft spider

If you've been lucky enough to see one - lets me know in the comments section of this blog.




Be the first to comment

This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

Ivan Moult: word of mouth sensation

Tuesday 9 February 2010, 17:40

Arts Council of Wales appoints six new members

Wednesday 10 February 2010, 10:49

About this Blog

Behind the scenes on our biggest shows, the stories you won't see on TV & highlights from Welsh history, arts and music.

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook for the latest posts.

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?

BBC Wales tweets