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319 Views 4 Replies Last post: Jul 26, 2013 12:20 PM by Francine RSS
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Jul 25, 2013 9:39 PM

Spider identification

Hi I have found 3 similar spiders in my garden over the last few weeks ! Either along the garden fence or the wall of my house ! They are slightly larger than a 50 pence piece I would say, I've never seen them before and I'm very scared of spiders as it is (silly i know) so I would love some reassurance please,  should I be worried ?  I have taken picture of the most recent 2. Thank you In advance.

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    Jul 25, 2013 10:31 PM (in response to Francine)
    Re: Spider identification

    Hi Francine,

     

    The photos don't show great detail, however these spiders do not look like anything unusual, or to worry about. Have you noticed any white dots on the abdomen, just behind the cephalothorax (head)? Sometimes a visibe cross shape, made up of these dots can be seen.

     

    I suspect that they are male garden spiders (Araneus diadematus), they can be a little gruesome looking (especialy the males), but this species is very, very common. The much plumper females can often be seen sitting in the centre of their webs.

     

    Until fairly recently, I too was scared of spiders, so I totally understand. It was only when I moved house & found myself inundated with spiders that I grew accustomed to them...now there are actually spiders that I like to see around. After last year's hot spell, I even had a couple of these very spiders take up residence in my living room. They will usually flee, or drop on a thread and play dead if they think you are taking too much interest in them. They aren't aggressive. Remember that no matter how alarming they look, there aren't any dangerous UK spiders.

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      • Currently Being Moderated
        Jul 26, 2013 12:06 AM (in response to Francine)
        Re: Spider identification

        The one with the rounder body was most likely a female. Neither of the spiders in your pictures is a false widow, that is for sure.

         

        Of the three commonly seen false widows, one does not appear to bite (Steatoda bipuncta, rabbit hutch spider), Steatoda grossa (cupboard spider) usually hides away & more normally found when people disturb them in sheds & outbuildings (I know they are around my home, but I only occasionally see an odd male, never females). Steatoda nobilis is often found in and around houses but is really quite timid and nothing like like their fearsome reputation...there is one 5 feet away from me as I write this, she lives inside my window frame and sticks to her web. There are other spiders that I am less comfortable to let roam free around my home & that I remove when I get the chance. But really, I'd be much more concerned if I had a wasp living full time in my flat.

         

        All these false widow spiders tend to have smoother, rounder, less angular abdomens, often appear shiny black/brown, without spines or hairs visible on the legs. None of them can do you any real harm. I hope I don't sound dismissive, or patronising - I know how real & traumatic a phobia can be, but now I know more about our eight-legged friends, I actually find them very interesting...even if I can't honestly say I like them all! ;-)

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