Tube web spider, Segestria florentina

Body size

Female to 22mm; male to 15mm.

Appearance

Impressive, with a black or dark brown cigar-shaped body (photo). Some specimens show green iridescence on the jaws. The sexes are similar.

Habitat, range and season

Walls, fences, and the bark of trees. Originally a native of southern Europe as far east as Georgia. Adults occur from June to November.

Web

Known as a 'tube-web', it occupies a hole or crevice and has trip-lines radiating out.

First recorded in the UK

1845. Colonies remained local (usually close to southern ports) until the 1990's when a considerable expansion began.

Reports of bites

'A sharp and painful bite; felt like a deep injection and caused quite a shock. However, after six hours the pain subsided.'

'Area red and tender to touch (swollen), with bite marks.'

Frequency of bites

Increasing as the species spreads in southern England, including the London area.

 

UK spider bites