Tag Archives: Spider Expert

Spider Populations Soar

4 Oct

Drusillas Park’s spider expert, Angela Hale has been extremely busy over the last few weeks dealing with enquiries from the public as a result of the increased spider populations this year. It would appear that a warm spring has resulted in an abundance of these eight-legged invaders, leaving little to put the achnophobics mind at rest.

Angela commented: “People are likely to notice more spiders this year as a result of the warmer springtime. This coincided with the hatching of spiderlings leading to a higher survival rate. Similarly these temperate conditions have also meant that there are more insects around, which in turn has provided a wealth of food for spiders.”

Known as ‘Tarangela’ at the zoo, Angela knows almost all there is to know about these curious creatures and keeps a collection of over 150 different arachnids at home in her spare bedroom. She is also the secretary of the British Tarantula Society.

Many of the enquiries Angela has received have been from concerned members of the public who have discovered a larger than normal arachnid at home or in their garden, which they believe to be a foreign species. However, Angela claims these are much more likely to be the fertile females:

“At this time of year many female spiders are pregnant. Their bodies are swollen with eggs making them larger and a little more clumsy than usual. They are not bigger this year, nor are they an exotic breed; they are simply more visible to us at the present time.”

“Our native spiders pose no threat to us. Although most spiders are venomous they will generally only use this to catch their prey. They are unlikely to bite a human, except as a last resort and even then they would have difficulty breaking through our skin.”

“Spiders are essential to our ecosystem; without them we would be inundated with insects. Other species, such as the wren, also rely on them for food. They are our friends, not our enemies.

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