Specieswatch: theme park offers no joy ride for jumping spider

Specieswatch: theme park offers no joy ride for jumping spider

Planned development in Kent risks destroying the only two British habitats of 1cm arachnid

A creature able to leap more than 10 times its own length and land on prey with unerring accuracy to render it helpless by injecting poison sounds like a monster from science fiction. But this is the hunting method of the distinguished jumping spider Attulus distinguendus that lives on two sites alongside the River Thames, near London. It was only discovered in 2003 and is now threatened by plans to build a theme park on its home, the Swanscombe Peninsula, in Kent.

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