Surrey is a Spooky Spider Halloween Hotspot!

Tuesday 24th October 2017

Surrey's SpidersSurrey's Spiders

Ghosts, witches, bats and beasties – Halloween wouldn’t be quite so spooky without them! But did you know that Surrey is a hotspot for spectacularly scary spiders?

“Surrey is a really important county for spiders, with more than 400 species recorded – and we believe that some rare species of spider can now only be found here in the county,” said Mike Waite, Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscapes Manager.

“It’s not the best news for the county’s arachnophobes perhaps, but spiders are undoubtedly fascinating creatures!”

Halloween coincides with the time of year when spiders become most visible. It’s easy to spot the wheel-like webs of the orb-weavers, bejewelled with droplets of dew on an early autumn morning. And as the temperature drops, male house spiders become more active as they search for mates.

Love them or hate them, spiders play a critical role in our ecosystems - both as prey and predator. And Surrey offers some of the best places for them to live and thrive. Heathlands such as Chobham Common are home to large numbers of different spiders – it’s recognised as nationally important for some species. Older grasslands and woodlands are also good hunting grounds for spider spotters.

Here are the Trust’s top five spider species to spot in Surrey this Halloween:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wasp Spider 

A Striking yellow and black striped spider with a large body. The female has a horrible habit of eating her mate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raft Spider 

A large striped spider that can walk on water, dive and even swim. Voracious hunter – may eat tadpoles and bite if handled!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gorilla Jumper

Scary-looking, hairy, black jumping spider, with all-round vision. Found on damp heaths such as Whitmoor and Wisley Commons. Don’t be alarmed – it’s pretty small!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wolf Spider

This spider hunts on the ground, chasing down its prey and leaping on it, just like a wolf! Female carries young on her back after they’ve hatched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triangle Spider

A rare spider is named after its unusual triangular shaped web. Found in the Trust’s Wallis Wood reserve and on Box Hill.


The Trust’s Mike Waite added: “We believe certain declining species of spider are now pretty much confined to Surrey - these include the Great fox spider, the Lynx spider and certain types of Sac spider and Comb-footed spider.

“But there is still much to be learned about the distribution and status of spiders in Surrey and new sightings or records are always welcome.”


Why not keep a look out for spiders and their wonderful webs in your garden? Or you could head out to one of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s reserves on an arachnid hunt – Chobham Common is a great place to start. Why not have a go at taking your own close-up scary spider photographs?


October half term marks The Wildlife Trusts’ ‘Wild About Gardens Week’, in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society.

You could help spiders and other invertebrates in your garden by building a bug hotel out of sticks and dry leaves this weekend.

Find out how >>

Tagged with: Species, Wildlife gardening