We interrupt everyone's focus on saving pandas and polar bears to put in a quick word for this guy:

The horrid ground-weaver is an extremely rare species of money spider (Linyphiidae) that needs your help to keep its last remaining habitat from being bricked over by a housing development. We're not being disparaging here: 'horrid' is actually part of its name, though it's not a reference to the ground-weaver's spiderly frightfulness (at a diminutive 2.5mm, it is decidedly not intimidating by arachnid standards). In fact, the spider gets its name from the Latin word for bristly: horridus. In scientific circles, it answers to Nothophantes horridus.

Today, the species can be found only in an abandoned limestone quarry in the British coastal city of Plymouth. Thanks to their small size and troglodytic habits – they live out their days in narrow limestone fissures from which they rarely emerge – horrid ground-weavers are rarely spotted and our knowledge of them is just as tiny as they are.

That's the reason why we can't present you with a more fetching portrait of the horrid ground-weaver ... and probably also the reason why the spiders are about to be wiped out of existence without anyone really noticing. This week, in an urgent effort to draw attention to their plight, nature conservation charity Buglife urged the British public to sign a petition opposing development at the quarry site.  

“The horrid ground-weaver is an extremely rare species. It is amazing that one of the world’s rarest spiders is only found in Plymouth – and that is why Radford Quarry is of global significance for wildlife. Failure to protect this site could be catastrophic for this tiny spider,” warns Buglife's Andrew Whitehouse.

The ground-weavers had previously been recorded at two other nearby sites, but those have since been lost to development, making Radford Quarry the scene of the horrid ground-weaver's last stand. According to Buglife, the area is also home to declining butterfly and beetle species.

If you're in the UK, add your mark to the petition here (at last count, it had over 4,500 signatures) ... otherwise send it along to your friends across the pond. 

(And just in case you were wondering if saving such rare yet unremarkable species from extinction's door is really worth all the bother, writer Jason Bittel makes a compelling case for why it is.)