We've had a lot of these around the house in the last few weeks, and they look just the same as the spider that gave my girlfriend a couple of nasty bites around this time last year. Same markings, same bulbous abdomen, same translucent reddish legs. Are they some variety of false widow? And if so, is their bite any more harmful to children than it is to adults?
The first photo is definitely not a false widow...I can't say for sure what it is, possibly a comb footed spider, or candy stripe spider (though doesn't seem leggy enough?)...I think it may even be a very vividly marked missing sector spider (legs-wise, this would seem to be the closest fit)? But it's not a steatoda, none of these possible ID's relate to spiders that are known to bite humans.
2nd photo, this is much more steatoda-like, possibly nobilis. Steatoda nobilis bites, though unpleasant, are not dangerous to healthy humans.
I think they're both Zygiella, most likely Z. x-notata which is the common one around houses - I have dozens in my garden at present. There is another Zygiella (atrica) which has red along the side of the abdomen but it's less common around houses and x-notata can occasionally have this.
Thanks Jaguarondi...it was the red stripes that were throwing me on the first ID (I spent half the evening looking for similar in my resident population...), but overall, I thought it looked more like Zygiella x-notata. Reassessing the 2nd photo & comparing to google images of more brown coloured Zygiella, I am sure that you are right.
Mark, when I started looking at spiders on web forums I found the similarity of the patterns of Zygiellas and S. nobilis confusing. You'd probably never confuse the two in the flesh (though I've yet to see a S. nobilis, or S. grossa, which is why I prefer to leave false window IDs to others) but IDing from photos is a whole new ball game. But I don't think S. nobilis has the faint black line running along the centre of the abdomen or, in photo 2, the black marks on the cephalothorax.
They probably are (in Suffolk) but they're not in my house yet and, to be honest, I'd rather it stayed that way. On this forum I've seen peoples' perturbations about having them in their house and I don't want to have the same mixed feelings (i.e. I'm wildlife friendly so I should let them stay, but on the other hand I'm worried about the safety of my children / cats / wife)