With dwindling new car sales threatening its environment, the British wing mirror spider faces an uncertain future.
Introduced from the Russian Far-East in a crate-load of Ladas, the wing-mirror spider has adapted to more reliable vehicles remarkably well. Since its introduction in 1968, the creatures have evolved into a separate sub-species, with the ability to sneer at lesser spiders housed on sub-premium brands.
But the British wing mirror spider has a number of predators. With no defence against the rapidly-spreading 'Zealous Lithuanian Jetwasher', and heated mirrors causing some to wake with an uncomfortably dry throat, terrified spiders are silking themselves.
Maintenance of their habitat is critical. With an adolescent wing mirror spider reaching two feet in diameter within 12 months or 15,000 miles (whichever is sooner), a missed service can crush a spider, or at least make its legs stick out round the sides.
"We prise out the glass and rehouse the adults in bus mirrors, or bathroom cabinets", explained a mechanic from Halfords. "They're a bit like hermit crabs in that respect." Many car owners don't realise there's more to car servicing than putting a bit of paper on the floor, and eating all the Smints. “Very few understand the importance of regular spider changes.”
And it's education in these areas that could help preserve the species. Unless we ACT NOW, the joy of watching an 'Arachnid Reversii' bungee-webbing at speed could soon become a thing of the past.
Send us your cold, hard cash, so we can preserve the wing mirror spiders for future generations to feel slightly uncomfortable about:
- JUST £10 can teach a school-running mother-of-three to spot a morning handle-to-mirror web, and load herself and the kids through the tailgate
- £25 can put an extra mirror on a scooter, so a community of disadvantaged spiders can have a friend round
- And £16,000 can buy a mid-range VW Golf, capable of housing up to two baby spiders in a fairly basic but reliable environment
Quiet reflection won’t help these creatures, pledge your support NOW. Because objects in the rear view mirror are colossaller than you think.