|Araneus diadematus |
Garden Orb Spider
Certainly I have heard that other orb spiders, and house spiders belonging to Tegenaria can bite, but have only heard very occasionally from people who have experienced bites.
|Aphanopelma hentziTexas Brown Tarantula|
This summer, we were plagued by enormous numbers of lesser house flies Fannia canicularis. On occasions the kitchen was home to literally hundreds, and the spiders that lived with us in the house became much appreciated allies, and a few local characters. In the sitting room, there was Shelob, named after the character in Lord of the Rings. She lives in a small hole in a flower stand, produced an intricate web with a characteristic funnel, and frequently stands, upside down close to her hidey hole as we watch television.
Another well watched creature is Spid. Spid appeared in about May as a tiny creature. He inhabited a tiny corner between the wall and the ceiling. He could be observed while I enjoyed an early morning cup of coffee. A record breaking move by him would total about an inch. Then one day he disappeared. He was away for about a fortnight, and during that time I anxiously hoped he was okay. Suddenly he reappeared, and now a little more active and slightly bigger, he actually strayed perhaps as much as six inches only to disappear again. He is now back in residence having returned from a walkabout something like a fortnight ago. Our house seems to be inhabited by Spid and his relatives, now down to about four individuals, the occasional Tegenaria who appears unannounced in the bath and Daddy Longlegs Spiders, Pholcus phalangioides.
|Pholcus phalangioides |
Daddy Longlegs Spider
|Tegenaria sp. |
|Steatoda nobilis |
False Black Widow
Apparently Steatoda nobilis is not a British native, but was introduced from the Canary Islands or Madeira, where it is native, some time in the nineteenth century with bananas. They are still more or less confined to southern counties, however are expected to spread north. It is now present in western Europe where it is expected to spread. Reports of False Widow bites do appear from time to time in the media, but most are sensationalised. As with bee stings, a few unfortunate people are badly affected by false widow bites, however to most, the effects may be painful, but are almost always harmless in the long term.