Jumping spider spotted in Dublin in 'first Irish sighting'


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.06 24 Jan 2020


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A jumping spider that’s not native to Ireland has been discovered on a bush in Dublin.

The Philaeus chrysops is a type of jumping spider, just around a centimetre long, with males boasting a bright red abdomen.

It's normally seen in the southern half of Europe, the US and Asia, and is not harmful to people.

One of the spiders has now been spotted sitting on a bush in a garden in Monkstown - with experts saying we can expect more varieties of spiders in Ireland as temperatures rise.

It's believed to be the first such sighting in the country.

Collie Ennis, a researcher at Trinity College's Zoology Department, explained: "A lot of times you'd expect to find these imported on plants - but when you see them outside that indicates they're moving in naturally, so to speak.

"Spiders have a trick - they'll actually throw a web from a web from their abdomen into the air, and they'll drift off... they can travel hundreds of thousands of miles like this."

He said the red-bellied creature most likely made its way here in a shipping container or on a plant – but with warming temperatures, the spiders are moving north and showing up in the UK.

He added: "Are they harmful to people? Absolutely not: in fact, they're very placid little spiders.

"The males have the lovely red abdomen that they use for display - I think they're handsome little chaps."

Anyone who spots one of the spiders is being asked to take a picture and to let experts know.

Main image: File photo of a species of jumping spider called Philaeus chrysops. Picture by Thom Quine via Wikimedia Commons, CC by 3.0

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