A female Dendryphantes rudis. Image by Richard Gallon. I recently attended a ‘bioblitz’ at the 1984 Festival Gardens site in Liverpool along with zoology staff from World Museum. The site is managed by The Conservation Volunteers on behalf of the Land Trust and has recently been extensively remodeled as a public green space. During the event, a spider was collected from a pine tree and on close inspection it was found to have not been recorded in Britain before. The species named Dendryphantes rudis is a jumping spider from a large group of arachnids with around 4000 species worldwide. They are called jumping spiders because they catch prey by pouncing on them from distance.
In common with many spiders they have eight eyes giving them nearly 360 degree vision, two of the front ones are greatly enlarged and able to focus separately and to zoom in and out like binoculars. The find will be reported in the scientific press and a study will be carried out to try and understand the spider's distribution in Liverpool. Trees where the spider was collected.
"They jump by increasing the pressure in their hind legs and some species can leap up to 40 times their own body length!"