WhatsThat's picture

Meta bourneti (Cave Spider)

Observed: 15th July 2012 By: WhatsThatWhatsThat’s reputation in InvertebratesWhatsThat’s reputation in InvertebratesWhatsThat’s reputation in Invertebrates
Meta bourneti (Cave Spider)

This large Meta bourneti spider was found in the telecom sump at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire. The sump is covered over resulting in damp conditions with all light excluded. Occasionally the cover is lifted to check the status of Meta bourneti.
The female was one of five adult females and an adult male inside the 1m x0.75m x 0.8m deep sump. Examination of the epigyne confirmed Meta bourneti.
For scale the ring on my finger measures 22mm diameter.
I would not normally handle Meta bourneti but this one made a run for it!

Species interactions

No interactions present.


WhatsThat's picture

More info on the Meta bourneti colony at the Sherwood Forest VC

Please see: http://www.eakringbirds.com/eakringbirds3/arachnidsmetabourneti.htm for more information on the Sherwood colony.

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Alan Thornhill's picture


I enjoyed reading the link. In the place where it lives does M. menardi also occur?

WhatsThat's picture


Hi Alan, as far as I am aware Meta menardi have never been recorded at Sherwood although the Meta bourneti in the telecom sump do show slight differences in colouration, hence the need to check carefully the male palps and female epigene.
The nearest location for Meta menardi is Creswell Craggs on the Notts/Derbys border about 5 miles away. Other suitable localities have been checked in the surrounding area with a negative result for both Meta bourneti and menardi.

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