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!
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:
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:
It is the same spider in both photos, there is a little time between the two though!
Thank you for your help and the links, it definitely looks more like the false widow. I didn't want to panic about it possibly being one too much, I've read an awful lot of media spin about that one. Same tricks as usual from the papers with their love of causing mass hysteria.
Personally, if the spider has been happy there for that long already I'm inclined to leave it alone and let it move on in it's own time!