Jumping Spider Discovered In UK For The First Time Can Leap Over Six Feet

Nature surprises you in ways you had never imagined. When it seemed that all living creatures in the UK have been accounted for comes a critter that has never ever been recorded. This rare species of arachnid was discovered at Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Holcroft Moss Nature Reserve, Warrington, UK.

Officially known as Sibianor Larae, this diminutive arachnid is an ‘athletic moss-dwelling’ creature. It can put an Olympic jumper to shame since it has the ability to leap over six feet, that is, 20 times its body length! Much like bungee jumping, this spider produces a silky dragline that acts as its safety line.

Not only this, its fangs produce venom. If agitated, it’s known to bite in self-defence. Luckily, its poison is not a threat to humans, who may suffer from redness, itching, stinging and swelling and not much else. What’s more, this spider prefers to run away from humans, rather than attack them.

Image: Lukas Jonaitis / Wikimedia Commons

Fortunately, this spider prefers outdoors, instead of hiding in the nook and cranny of your home. It’s active during the daytime and prefers to roam around in sunshine looking for prey.

This spider is athletic alright. It’s an excellent hunter and has the ability not only to jump long distances but also to move both sideways and backwards at lightning speeds to pounce on its prey. Its favourite food comprises mosquitos, webworms, cotton leaf worms, bollworms, flea hoppers, leafhoppers and stinkbugs.

This arachnid was discovered by Richard Burkmar, an arachnologist, who together with fellow arachnologist, Richard Gallon, found many more such spiders. They consulted Dr. Dmitri Logunov, curator of arthropods at Manchester Museum. He not only confirmed this species as Sibianorlarae, but also informed that he had discovered this species in 2001 and named it after his wife Larisa.

If this spider happens to bite you, don’t panic. Clean the bite location with soap and water, and apply a cold compress. You can relieve the symptoms of the bite by taking an aspirin, antihistamines or acetaminophen. Seek medical attention only if the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours.

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