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613 Views 2 Replies Last post: Nov 12, 2013 7:23 PM by Lingstar RSS
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 12, 2013 6:01 PM

Need help to ID a spider!

Hi all,

 

My girlfriend has had a spider in her bathroom for about 3/4 months. It sits quite happily near to the ceiling above her shower but on having a closer look through curiosity a week or so ago, I noticed it doesn't look overly like a regular house spider. I used to get all sorts at my old flat, including those massive harvest spiders but I can't recall seeing one like this before.

 

It's not bothering anybody (except her flatmate, she hates spiders!) so we're happy to leave it be but are curious as to what type of spider this is!

 

Thanks in advance for any advice people can give and sorry if the photos are a little rubbish, we were struggling to see the web and didn't want to upset the spider by destroying it!

 

photo 1.JPG

 

photo 2.JPG

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 12, 2013 7:18 PM (in response to Lingstar)
    Re: Need help to ID a spider!

    The lower photo looks like a false widow spider Steotoda nobilis – dark head, pale band around the abdomen, with a central mark on the back. It’s a bit harder to tell from the smaller picture, but I assume it’s the same specimen. Maybe it’s a trick of the light but it looks like it has a slimmer abdomen in the top picture; did some time pass between the two photos? Size can vary depending, for instance, on when they last ate.

     

    You could compare it with the pictures here:

    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/insects-spiders/false-widow/index.html

    http://srs.britishspiders.org.uk/portal.php/p/Summary/s/Steatoda+nobilis

     

    Where I used to live we also had one over the bath for some months. It emerged every night from the slightly ajar top window and sat in her web. She didn’t wander about the room, and eventually stopped showing up when the winter weather kicked in. When we first noticed her, she looked quite emaciated, presumably due to having no luck in catching any prey, but after we gave her a mealworm she really shaped up!  We have at least two large females that emerge every night onto their respective webs outside, just above the back door; they stick to their immediate territories and don't seem inclined to wander.

     

    The fact that yours has been there for months without causing trouble demonstrates that it isn’t a problem to be fretted about - in contrast to the hysterical and inaccurate coverage surrounding this species in some of the media lately - though I can understand why an arachnophobe wouldn’t be comfortable in this particular scenario and would prefer it to be put outside!

     

    This may be helpful to read:


    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/insects-spiders/false-widow/false-widow-worried/index.html

     

    http://www.buglife.org.uk/bugs-%26-habitats/spider-bites


     



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