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Something bugging you?

Syrphida (family), hoverfly.

Found a bug in your back garden, ants at the allotment or a spider on the stairs? Upload photographs of your find, tell us where you found it, the time of year and any notable behaviour, and our scientists and helpful volunteers will try and identify it for you.

Put a name to bugs that are commonly found in the UK. The term 'bug' is used widely for insects but our experts can also identify non-insect arthropods, such as spiders, centipedes, millipedes and woodlice.

Sign in and ask your question

Visit the Creepy Crawlies gallery

Visit the ID team at the Museum

Don't panic: it's only a false widow spider

A noble false widow, Steatoda nobilis, recently submitted for identification by CornishGarden.

Museum ID expert Stuart Hine - aka bombuslucorum on the forums - tells the facts and debunks some of the myths surrounding the false widow spiders:

False widow spider is a common name for a group of species in the genus Steatoda. Spiders in this group are found worldwide, with several species being strongly associated with humans in our homes, towns and cities.

The Identification and Advisory Service has received more than a thousand enquiries about false widow spiders over the last 15 years. Enquiries increase significantly when a media report brings them to the attention of the public.

What are these spiders doing in the UK?

Seven species of false widow spiders are recorded in the UK. Four are native to the UK, two were accidentally introduced with traded goods and the other doesn't appear to be established here yet but is frequently imported.

What are the different false widow species?

Mistaken identities - no, it isn't a false widow

I've found one but should I be worried?

Watch Museum films about UK wildlife

Visit another ID forum

Ask a Museum scientist for help identifying your finds and quiz them on all aspects of UK biodiversity. Just choose a forum and submit your question.

Recent sightings

The hornet mimic hoverfly, Volucella inanis

They're easy to confuse with bees or hornets, but they're hoverflies. Examples of Volucella inanis and Volucella zonaria are being seen at the moment and pdh has submitted a great photo of the former (above).

Have you seen a hornet mimic hoverfly?

Curator of Diptera blog



Museum ID team

These forums are looked after by scientists and experts in the Museum’s Identification and Advisory Service.

Our fossil, rock, plant and insect experts are dedicated to answering your natural history questions.

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