I`m normally quite laid back but when I found this lady? under my compost bin the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.I was thinking of keeping it as it is quite stunning. Does anyone know how long they live and is it really a Steata Nobilis?
It doesn't look like Steatoda Nobilis. It might perhaps be a Steatoda Bipuncta or Steatoda Grossa, but I'm not sure. Any chance of some better pics, perhaps looking down from above the abdomen?
Here are all the pictures I have but if these are not good enough then I shall gdo some more. As spiders go it certainly is very shy and seeems to hate slippery objects. Is it the abdomen markings that betray its species? There seems in one photograph (10010161 a feint butterfly shaped marking on the abdomen. It looks as if I cannot attach here
so I will edit my original post. RB
When you say "Butterfly pattern" do you mean, like a paler, central stripe running doen the length of the abdomen? Or are there faint arrow like markings pointing towards the head?
I still wouldn't like to call it from the photos, partly because I don't see enough of these, partly because it's hard to see markings due to "stuff" on the spider's body. It looks shorter legged like a Bipuncta (AKA Rabbit Hutch spider)
It's not a Nobilis though & poses no risk (even Nobilis aren't dangerous, though a bite may not be a pleasant experience). Bipuncta are not typically reported as biters, Grossa can bite but as with most spider bites these are usually the result of spiders being trapped in clothing etc., rather than actively looking to do so.
It is really a conundrum taking pictures of this spider as its abdomen is so shiny that markings seem to disappear. I have not given up but if anyone can give me some advice on photographing shiny spiders then please do! By the way I think there are faint arrow like markings. They might even form a ring.
Looking again at these pics, on a PC with a better screen, P1010059.JPG steers me now more towards Steatoda Grossa, as I see the faint arrow like marking on the abdomen you mention.
Many thanks for the i.d. This spider has caused quite a lot of fuss amongst my friends and neighbours. As it`s markings are feint do you think that it is a female? I still have it and will post some better photos soon.
Many thanks for the confirmation that it is a female S. grossa and as far as my locale is concerned , West London , Fulham. I am trying to feed her on tiny crickets! She is extremely nervous and secretive and definately nocturnal.
Tonight at my Sister in laws house I saw what I assumed to be a Tegenaria's (House Spider) corner web well over 40 cm at the hypotenuse above my head next to their back door and security light. Always interested in this sort of sport I tickled the web with a long blade of grass. Instead of a Tegenaria the largest Steatoda noblis I have ever seen came scuttling out. The abdomen was at least 12/13mm in diameter with a leg span of about 40mm. My lovely Sister in law bravely said 'I suppose it is allright there' but I know that she is an Arachnophobe at heart so using a long stemmed wine glass I removed it from the web and relocated her in the shed at the end of the garden. Sadly I had no camera to record this fun series of events.
I find it amazing that in a few years the Steatoda's noblis and grossa seem to be one of the commonest species of spider in South London.
Since finding my grossa I have read that these Steatoda have very diffuse disorganized webs. Seeing your nobilis must have been a shock! Did you have a chance to look at the web more closely. Do you think that it is likely that it could have killed a Tegenaria and taken over the web?
Outside my back-door there is a corner with about 4 Tegenaria living in cascade one above the other spaced between 6 inches to 2 feet apart. I have seen them sitting outside their webs on rainy nights. I have often wondered at this behaviour. Has anyone any theories? One of the Tegenaria, the biggest , has a very small web and the only way I know of it`s presence is that it sits half in and half out at night when it is damp or raining.