Success of Fen Raft Spider – Lopham and Redgrave Fen

Discovered in 1956 at Redgrave and Lopham Fen It lives in the margins of pools originally dug for peat and is dependent on the saw sedge found there.

The species has been threatened through degradation of its wetland habitat due to water extraction and pig and poultry farm pollution.

A species recovery program was initiated in 1991 by Natural England and systematic monitoring and habitat management has since been established overseen by Dr Helen Smith.

8 jointed attached to abdomen
Feet in the water, they feel vibration
Web is not silk, but protein
Mechanism for landing – jets
Mating – Secretes super matter, Injects into p. Finds mate. Dances
Female is the creator of the silk egg sack Carries egg around for 3 weeks. Builds a bursary of silk
They were on the red list
Cottage industry – my cottage
6000 text tube spiders
56 nursaries.

Climate change – last 50 years too hot and saline
Spider silk

Nicola Stechling
Bio mimicry – taking shay nature does
Silk is protein spun fibres
Expressed from different glands making combination sticky and strong
Material science tougher than rayon
Molecular structure similar to Kevlar oil.

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