Wednesday 1 April 1998 (Daily Telegraph)
Rare spider goes island hopping
By Richard Savill
A WOMAN has discovered a rare jumping spider, thought
not to have been seen in Britain for 40 years, while
cleaning her home on the remote island of Fetlar in the
The male spider, Hasarius Adansoni, which is black with
white markings and capable of jumping up to four inches
high, is believed to have entered Britain with imported
plants or fruit. Isla Sutherland, 31, said she was
intrigued when she noticed the quarter-inch creature
while doing her housework. "It looked different
because of the white markings," she said yesterday.
"I put in a jar but it immediately escaped. It
jumped out and on to the floor. I hadn't realised it
could jump. It took me a while to find it again and then
it just kept jumping."
Mrs Sutherland said that the spider had not spun a web
and she had no idea how it got into her house. She said:
"The only thing I can think of is that the previous
week I brought some shopping back in a banana box."
Peter Merrett, the co-author of British Spiders, who has
seen the spider, said it was a sub-tropical species.
"It has only occurred in heated greenhouses. I
haven't heard of any in Britain for the the last 40
years. With increased use of pesticides it was probably
largely wiped out."