21865 Views 9 Replies Last post: Aug 25, 2011 1:11 AM by Stephanie RSS
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Aug 14, 2011 10:22 AM

Identify Spider / False Black Widow ?

Hi everyone.  I knew this spider was living between my greenhouse/workshop.  Spiders do not bother me.  Then the other night I rescued a rather large moth from the web, the spider fighting back but eventually giving in.  Moth flew off unharmed.  I decided to check up on the spider.  It is shiniest black. About the size of a 5p.  Has a very untidy web and seems to come out at night.  Lots of debris around below the web.


Only way to catch it really was to use a toothbrush to scoop the whole nest bit out and straight into plastic container.  Photos taken this morning after it has spent the night in the container.


I THOUGHT I saw red markings on it when it was up in the web, they may be on the underside as the photo is taken from the top.


Look forward to any replies


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    Aug 14, 2011 4:22 PM (in response to Stephanie)
    Re: Identify Spider / False Black Widow ?
    Hello there, and welcome to the NHM Bug Forum. I'm going to go for Steatoda bipunctata. Which is one of our native False Widows (or Comb Footed Spiders), sometimes called the Rabbit Hutch Spider. If Im wrong I expect Mr Bombuslucorum will be putting us right soon enough . Best wishes Lewis.
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          Aug 15, 2011 10:02 AM (in response to Stephanie)
          Re: Identify Spider / False Black Widow ?

          Hello Steph.

          I blew the picture up as much as I could and the spider certainly looks like a Steatoda bipunctat.a to me. When we get the odd Black Widow in the UK they are almost always associated with freight that has come in from America and I'm pretty certain this is not one.

          Yes, like most spiders you could probably get a bite from it, but this would be the exception rather than the rule. The False Widow with the most venomous bite is supposedly Steatoda noblis and I handle these on an almost daily basis (I call my house Steatoda Towers) as I'm removing them from the bath, sink, piano and wardrobes etc and remain unbitten I would advise just letting it go away from your house but do not be suprised to find another in it's place as they seem to have some sort of queuing system organised .


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      Aug 22, 2011 4:30 PM (in response to Lewis)
      Re: Identify Spider / False Black Widow ?

      Just back from hols in sunny (well it was pretty wet) Dorset.


      I would be 95% sure that this one is Steatoda nobilis , which I have to report is now all over my home in Berkshire. First found one two years ago but since we have moved into the loft space (newly converted) I now find them preferring this altitude and the blighters keep falling through the velux windows when we open them. Must admit any I find indoors go straight outside again.

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          Aug 23, 2011 9:48 AM (in response to Stephanie)
          Re: Identify Spider / False Black Widow ?
          No need to worry - my 5% doubt only relates to which of three UK species of Steatoda it is. I am 100% sure it is not a True Widow species (Latrodectussp.). Releasing this outside was absolutely the right thing to have done. Steatoda nobilis does indeed deliver what is arguably the worst bite symptoms of UK spiders; although this has been reported the incidence rate and probability of being bitten is extremely low. You are far more likely to be stung by a wasp which happens on average 2-3 times in a lifetime.
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