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2389 Views 10 Replies Last post: Aug 31, 2013 3:42 PM by MWJB RSS
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Aug 29, 2013 10:45 PM

Spider with gold marking on back - False Widow?

Hi all,

 

I have found a spider (well, my wife did and asked me to catch it). When got it in a glass I noticed I had not seen one like it before.

It is black with a gold/yellow marking on its back.

 

I have attached a picture. .......not the best.

 

I hope someone can identify it for me.

 

Andy

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2013 6:19 AM (in response to Andyh)
    Re: Spider with gold marking on back - False Widow?

    Yes, Steatoda nobilis. Well done, or should it be commiserations?

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        Aug 30, 2013 9:16 AM (in response to Andyh)
        Re: Spider with gold marking on back - False Widow?

        It's possible that there's just one - it may have ballooned there as a youngster, for example - but I would say it's more likely that there are others.

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              Aug 30, 2013 9:34 PM (in response to Andyh)
              Re: Spider with gold marking on back - False Widow?

              Oh dear. Best of luck getting rid of them but some may be living outside so it may be tricky to stop them invading. There are people on this forum who happily live alongside them, but if the wife's going to freak out you've got to do something.

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                  Aug 30, 2013 11:50 PM (in response to Andyh)
                  Re: Spider with gold marking on back - False Widow?

                  We have them all over the flats where I live. Only I seem to be aware of what they are, no one has ever raised them in conversation with me. I see evidence that the smokers who congregate by the front door have at times taken an interest in the female that lived in a crack above it (chucking stuff in the web), but she rarely came out enough for folks to see any markings.

                   

                  There are quite a few small dog owners here, lots of dog owners in the area, lots of Steatodas too (nobilis & grossa)...I have never heard of a case where a pet was found to be harmed by a false widow, though - hand on heart - can't say it's impossible. I do think it unlikely though, Steatoda nobilis seem to like being high up (out of the way of small dogs)...often living close to areas where we pass by, but they don't seem to relish contact with humans. I think a dog would freak one out completely. Steatoda grossa seems to be far more elusive.

                   

                  All that said, I don't like having steatodas in the bedroom (removed 2 grossa from there in the last week), too much like tempting fate. I had a male nobilis living in my shower for a while last year...I wasn't comfortable with that either, so I removed him (kept him in a jar for a bit before he wandered off & disappeared).

                   

                  I'm quite happy to leave the females be if they have set up a web in other parts of the flat...here's a female that currently lives in my living room window frame (inside & out), she is never more than 2 inches from the vent, where she bolts to if threatened...

                  [URL=http://s1083.photobucket.com/user/MWJB/media/Steatoda%20Nobilis/Snobilis1408130003_zps0be1e4ff.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1083.photobucket.com/albums/j388/MWJB/Steatoda%20Nobilis/Snobilis1408130003_zps0be1e4ff.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

                  Males have much smaller abdomens, around the same size as their head, often more drab in colour. I'd stick these outside, as they are wanderers. There is not really any avoiding these spiders where I live, like bees & wasps...except there are much fewer Steatodas, or at least much less chance of contact with them. I used to be a total arachnophobe, but I actually quite like S nobilis, grossa ...& who doesn't love cute little bipuncta? ;-) So perhaps my take on the situation isn't the most credible, but there are other spiders that I simply won't tolerate being loose about the home, as they hunt by wandering around (rather than live in a web) or aren't phased by huge humans looming over them & poking them (some poke back).

                   

                  Be aware of them, remove any that make you uncomfortable, but don't fret or worry about them unduly.

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      Aug 31, 2013 3:42 PM (in response to Andyh)
      Re: Spider with gold marking on back - False Widow?

      Hi Andy,

       

      This latest find is Araneus diadematus, the Europen garden spider. If you go outside and study some bushes, it won't be long before you find some, they are very, very common. This one looks like a male, they wander about looking for females.They look a bit gruesome, but generally flee, or play dead if confronted.

       

      I fear that if you actively start hunting spiders in your home, that you will be making a rod for your own back. I only have a small home, I don't go turning stuff over to find spiders - I just record the ones that wander in front of me...I have seen 50 different individuals since February, excluding those living on the exterior of the building.

       

      If you want to keep the population in check, perhaps encourage the Pholcus phalangioides (Daddy long legs/skull spider), there's nothing they like to eat more than bigger, more gruesome, scary spiders! ;-)

       

      Regards,  Mark.

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