This site has been established to promote the understanding and conservation of one of Europe's largest, most beautiful but least common species of spider, the Fen Raft Spider Dolomedes plantarius. We hope that it will serve as an international forum for promoting the exchange, collation and dissemination of knowledge about the biology, status and practical conservation of this species. The site also includes information on Europe's other raft spider species, Dolomedes fimbriatus.
The site is run as part of the UK conservation and research programme for Dolomedes plantarius. This includes monitoring, conservation management and translocations led by a partnership that includes Natural England (formerly English Nature), the Suffolk and Sussex Wildlife Trusts, the Broads Authority, the British Arachnological Society and the RSPB. It also includes research into the autecology, molecular ecology and evolution of this species, carried initially out at the University of East Anglia and, more recently, at the University of Nottingham. Many other organisations and individuals have contributed generously to the project - please see the full acknowledgements.
This site is designed primarily as a hub for information on the biology, distribution, classification and identification of D. plantarius, and on its conservation, particularly in Britain. It also embraces art inspired by this stunning species, and presents opportunities to contribute information and practical help to further its conservation.