Spider believed to be extinct in Britain discovered in Ealing

By Isabel Millett

4th May 2022 | Local News

A species of spider thought to be extinct in Britain has been discovered in Ealing.

The skylarks, barn owls and bats found at Warren Farm Nature Reserve will be more palatable to arachnophobes than the latest discovery made among its meadows. 

Also calling the nature reserve home is the Philodromus buxi – a species of spider recorded as extinct in the UK.

One of 600 species contained in the family of running crab spiders, the eight-legged rarity was first identified in Britain in 1884 but deleted from the British checklist when decades later this specimen from the nineteenth century remained the only ever one recorded on our shores.

Discovered yesterday by amateur photographer and nature enthusiast, Julian Oliver, and confirmed by the British Spider Identification Group as a Philodromus buxi, it is not the first leggy brunette Julian has found at Warren Farm.

Last year the 52-year-old from Hanwell made the first ever recording of a Thanatus striatus in Middlesex when he found the hairy spider soldiering on with one leg missing.

Katie Boyles, Trustee, Brent River & Canal Society and campaign organiser at Warren Farm Nature Reserve said she hoped Julian's discovery encouraged others to take an interest in insects.

"Julian's passion for arachnids and insects is catching," Katie told Nub News. "It just goes to show that by looking closer at our local green spaces and parks in Ealing, the more we discover, the more we understand and the clearer the importance of these places becomes.

To discover more about the species-rich urban meadow on our doorstep, visit the Warren Farm Nature Reserve website.

Better yet, visit the reserve in person and the next rare species discovered could be yours. 


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