Huge spider assumed extinct in Britain discovered on MoD training site

Described as ‘gorgeous’ by the man who found it, the great fox-spider has not been seen since 1993

One of Britain’s largest spiders has been discovered on a Ministry of Defence training ground in Surrey having not been seen in the country for 27 years.

The great fox-spider is a night-time hunter, known for its speed and agility, as well as its eight black eyes which give it wraparound vision. The critically endangered spider was assumed extinct in Britain after last being spotted in 1993 on Hankley Common in Surrey. The two-inch-wide (5cm) arachnid had previously also been spotted at two sites in Morden Heath in Dorset. These are the only three areas in Britain, all in the comparatively warmer south, where it has been recorded.

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