Lady's Wood - home to strawberry spiders
Strawberry spiders forever
By Laura Joint
A survey has taken place of a rare creature, after it was spotted at a Devon nature reserve.
One of the UK's rarest species of spider has set up home in a South Devon nature reserve.
The strawberry spider (so called because it looks like a strawberry) is hard to find, so studying its whereabouts can be difficult.
However, the species was spotted by an insects expert at Lady's Wood nature reserve near South Brent in 2003.
A strawberry spider (Duncan Williams)
Volunteers carried out a survey at the reserve in June 2008 to see if the spider is still present at Lady's Wood.
The reserve is managed by the Devon Wildlife Trust.
The trust's reserves officer, Jackie Gage, said: "There was an official survey done in 2003 by an expert, David Boyce, and he identified the strawberry spider.
"That was the first time it was known that the spider was at the reserve.
"It is supposed to be very rare - whether that's because people just don't know about it, or whether it is actually rare - we don't really know.
"We thought we should go out every five years and look for it. It makes its web in rolled up leaves.
"We've got photos of the spider with us so we know what we are looking for."
It's thought the strawberry spider is also present at another Devon Wildlife Trust reserve a few miles away, Andrew's Wood.
Lady's Wood is a three hectare site with a rich variety of trees and shrubs. Primroses and bluebells flourish in the woodland, which is also home to a population of dormice.
last updated: 06/06/2008 at 10:56