Some 3,000 baby fen raft spiders reared by ecologist Helen Smith will be let loose in the Castle Marshes nature reserve in Suffolk, according to Natural England.
The spiders are large — the body of an adult female can be as long as 23 millimetres — with distinctive white, cream or yellow stripes across the abdomen.
The baby arachnids were reared in individual laboratory test tubes to prevent them from attacking each other, and were hand-fed with fruit flies.
Smith said raising the creatures was an “exhausting” job.
“At one stage I was up until 2:00 am, seven days a week, feeding flies to hungry young spiders in my kitchen,” she said.
“I’m excited and relieved to see them making their own way in the world — and I can finally have my kitchen back.” ( AFP )