Elusive spider last seen in Wicken more than a century ago resurfaces

Hyposinga heri

Hyposinga heri - Credit: Archant

A species of spider that was thought to be extinct after disappearing for more than 100 years ago has been rediscovered in the UK.

Hypsosinga heri was last recorded in 1898 and again in 1912 at Wicken Fen and was about to be removed from a list of British species, according to wildlife charity RSPB.

But a group of RSPB volunteers out conducting a butterfly survey on a nature reserve in Weymouth, Dorset, happened upon the a “very small brightly-coloured spider on flowers” and took some photographs.

The pictures were posted online and experts soon confirmed that the spiders were in fact Hypososinga heri.

RSPB volunteer Allan Neilson, who made the discovery, said: “This year we’ve had three more sightings of this tiny spider and we’re wondering where else might it be found? But so far, all we’ve found are females – which begs the question: where are the males?”