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303 Views 2 Replies Last post: Nov 12, 2013 9:39 AM by bombuslucorum - Museum ID team RSS
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Nov 12, 2013 9:22 AM

What sort of spider is this?

Morning

 

I found this spider in my bedroom this morning, and I’m curious to know what it is. Usually I just collect spiders in a glass and put them outside, but all this talk about false widows lately made me take a closer look, and now I’m wondering what sort of spider it is.

 

I’ve looked at various websites, and as far as I can tell it’s some sort of orb weaver? I have no knowledge of spiders (or insects, actually) whatsoever, so I could well be wrong! (That’s why I’m asking here )

 

If it makes any difference, as soon as I collected it in a pint glass, it rolled up into a ball and dropped into the glass. It stayed this way for about fifteen minutes before it began walking around again.

 

The first photo is the spider on the wall when I first saw it, and the second is in the pint glass after it started walking around again. The photos aren’t very good as they were taken on my phone and the only light source was a desk lamp!

 

Any help is appreciated

 

Carl

 

Message was edited by: Cuffbertt Edited to replace massive photos with smaller cropped ones that are easier to see the spider in

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 12, 2013 10:33 AM (in response to Cuffbertt)
    Re: What sort of spider is this?

    Hi Carl,

     

    You are right in your guess that this is an orb weaver, a missing sector orb weaver (Zygiella x- notata most likely). Harmless & very common indeed around the exterior of our homes (window frames especially), but also find their way indoors.

     

    They are occasionally mistaken for false widows, but false widows don't tend to have a brown head, with a dark central stripe/"V" shape running down the middle, that Zygiellas do. False widow's heads tend to be more evenly coloured.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 12, 2013 9:39 AM (in response to Cuffbertt)
    Re: What sort of spider is this?

    Hi Carl,

     

    This is the Missing Sector Orb Web spider, Zygiella x-notata. This is a very common and widespread species and loves to make its web over windows and uses the corners if the frame and the sill for its refuge. I doubt there is a home in the land that does not have this species in residence.

     

    It is also the species most commonly mistaken for the Noble False Widow, Steatoda nobilis.

     

    Zygiella spp. are completely harmless and through the year they will catch a good deal of insects and other invertebrates that are considered pests. They are also one of the few species that happily feed through the winter given available winter insects.

     

    For less shocking and hopefully reassuring information on False Widow spiders please see the following link:

     

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

     

    HTH

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