false widow spider


Just thought you might like to know about one poisonous spider that is in the UK and in particular in the south

you might find one around here

don't panic too much it's not that lethal - I think!!

spider details
so don't go into the shed today - if you see one all you have to do is check if it's a boy or a girl and if it's a girl - leave it alone - EASY !!!!!!!!!

Latin name: Steatoda nobilis Size: Between 7 and 14mms long.

Distribution: Found along most parts of the south England coast. One was recently sighted in Gloucester.

Months seen: All year round Food: Flies and other small insects

Habitat: Usually found in houses and out buildings.

Special features: The false widow spider (Steatoda Nobilis) probably arrived in the UK from the Canary Islands. It was first recorded in Torquay, Devon, back in 1879.
Since then it has adapted well to our colder climate.

False widows belong to a group of spiders which are part of the same family as the infamous Black Widow spiders, although they are nowhere near as toxic.
They are frequently mistaken for Black Widow spiders, which has led to the common name of "False Widow" spiders.

As you can see from the photos they have a dark shiny body.

Click for a better viewThe abdomen has some pale markings on the top, and there is a creamy coloured band all round the front.

Click for a better viewThe false widow web consists of many short, irregularly placed silk strands. It's a bit of a mish-mash. 

False widows have a bit of a reputation for biting people, although in truth, this is quite a rare occurrence.
You would need to be very unlucky, or go out of your way to be bitten. They only bite if mishandled or provoked.

To those who have experienced it, the bite is said to be similar to a bee sting.

Not to worry you BUT !!!!!!

Spider bite puts woman in hospital
taken from wired news story

A 52-year-old grandmother has told how she spent more than 24 hours on a life support
machine after being bitten by a deadly spider
(tour devon comment= I think the term deadly is a lot over the top).
Lyn Mitchell woke up struggling for breath when she was bitten on the chest while in bed
at her home in Egremont, Cumbria.
The culprit was thought to be a false black widow - Steatoda grossa - which usually causes
blistering and a general malaise lasting for several days.
(tour devon comment = usually referred to as the false widow spider not false black widow)
Mrs Mitchell said: "I suddenly woke up in severe pain. I just jumped out of bed, pulled
the duvet and sheets back and saw a spider running all over the other side of the bed.
"It was tiny, black and shiny and it ran so quick - I have never seen anything move so fast.
I didn't try and kill it because I felt so ill. "If I hadn't been put on the life support machine I think I would have died."
Pest controllers from Copeland Borough Council sprayed her home and Mrs Mitchell said she
found the spider dead behind her bedroom door several days later.
She said the Natural History Museum told her it was the worst case of its kind they
had come across.

more info if you dare
How about poisonous plants
or in the water
and you thought the UK didn't have any nasties



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