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News Clippings

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 Shetlands.

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."

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