Found a strange insect in your garden, an unusual plant in the park or a fossil on the beach? Get help identifying it.
Whether you are an amateur naturalist, an expert or just curious, you can ask - or answer - all sorts of questions about the UK's biodiversity and our team of Museum scientists are online to help.
N.B. New threads posted to any of the Identification forums are moderated so there may be a delay before you're message appears.
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.
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.
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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