Walnut orb-weaver spider, Nuctenea umbratica

Body size

Female to 15mm; male to 10mm.

Appearance

Plump, dark brown but rather flat-bodied. The slimmer-bodied male (photo) appears to bite more frequently than the female.

Habitat, range and season

Woods and gardens; old trees, fences and buildings. Hides during the day behind peeling bark or in cracks in woodwork. Europe, N Africa and S Asia. Adult males from June to October; females probably all year.

Web

A vertical orb with a line connecting to a retreat.

First recorded in the UK

1678.

Bite reports

'Felt like a puncture from a bramble thorn. Site of the bite slightly raised and white (no reddening). Pain gone after 6 hours.'

'Pain like an electric shock from finger to elbow with the arm going numb; recovered after a few hours.'

'Itchiness and hot feeling on arm, large red patch (2" x 4") became worse within hour, plus white lumps; horrible burning feeling - felt bruised for some days.'

UK spider bites