It’s about time I discussed the creep crawlies that litter Britain.
Did you know that the UK is home to over 650 species of spider? And guess what, they all bite! Reports claimed that last Autumn, spiders ‘the size of mice’ were reported to be invading British homes.
Luckily, autumn is behind us, so you’ll be glad to know that these critters won’t be as common now.
With that in mind, here is a list of 17 common British spiders you may run into during the autumn months, hopefully this will help you identify them before they send you running!
This spider is larger than most, as it can grow to upwards of 18mm long. Found in Wales and England amongst hedgerows and long grass, the Labyrinth Spider is most common between June and October. Surviving on a diet of small insects and flies, the spider get its name from catching them in long funnel-shaped webs, which can become very thick.
The female won’t leave until her young are ready to leave the web, and once she dies, the young will eat here. This spider is not to be confused with the fare more dangerous Funnel Web Spider.
With a name like that, you;d imagine these are harmless, right?
Well, you’re right. They pretty much are. This green spider is seen from April to October and is around 4mm-6mm long. Usually found in gardens, hanging from plants and eating flies and other small insects. These are native to the UK, and while they may look mostly green they have a small red dot above their spinners on their tail.
There are two types of of this spider, the Meta Menardi and the Meta Bourneti. It’s around 10-15mm long and is very commonly found in the UK all throughout the year.
Surviving on a diet of flies, woodlice and other small insects, this spider keeps itself to itself, hiding in caves, tunnels and places with little to no sunlight.
Their eggs are tear-shaped and hang upside down on a silk thread. The young spiders are attracted to sunlight at first so they’ll seek to find somewhere new to populate. Adult spiders however, tend to remain in darkness.
False Widow Spiders
These infamous arachnids were thought to have arrived in Devon at around 1879 from the Canary Islands.
They feast on flies and small insects and come in a 7-14mm shiny black body with pale markings on their stomach. Their name ‘False Widow’ comes from the fact that they’re often mistake for the more dangerous Black Widow. Though their bite isn’t nearly as deadly, they do come from the same arachnid family.
Their web formation is very scatty and their silk strands can be found all year round.
Green Huntsman Spider
It’s not commonly known, but Britain has its own version of the infamously terrifying Huntsman Spider, ours is known as the Green Huntsman. Luckily, this spider is very rare and is only a mere 15mm in comparison to the much larger and daunting 30cm figure of the Huntsman Spider.
The Green Huntsman gets its name from its hunting method, it camouflages itself within green shrubbery and then pouncing on its prey (small insects). It can be found in woodland areas, parks and anywhere mossy and green.
Black Lace Weaver Spider
This spider is often found underneath stones and logs in gardens across Britain throughout the year. It has a large, fat round body with yellow and brown patches on its stomach. It measures in at around 15mm, its eggs are diamond white and the females are usually found guarding them.
These look absolutely terrifying and rightly so. These spiders have been known to appear in large numbers across the UK, especially around April-October.
Much like the Huntsman, they prefer to chase their prey rather than trap them in a web.
Running Crab Spider
Males and females are separated in appearance, with males adopting a black body and head and females adopting beige bodies.
Found in both England and Wales amongst grassy areas and specifically low growing vegetation. They’re small at 5mm and eat small insects, chasing them down as opposed to catching them in a web.
“The heavens had opened, upon uttering these words, the boys just sort of looked at me, the way your dog looks at you when you leave to go to work, betrayed and incredibly disappointed.”
Giant House Spider
Measuring at a whopping 120mm, this is the most common spider you’re likely to find in your house. They’re very fast over a short distance, but rapidly run out of energy, they build large sheet-like webs and are usually found in the darker corners of your house.
These spiders do bite and the bite does contain venom, though you’ll be very glad to know that they do not usually pose a threat to humans.
14cm, this is how long they can grow, which is daunting in itself. However, these spiders are not aggressive, nor are they dangerous. The name comes from the legend that Cardinal Thomas Woolsey was terrified by this species at Hampton Court back in the 16th century.
Although thought to be harmless to humans, their size and generally sinister look grants them a bad reputation. Bites from these are rare and painless, so don’t worry!
That makes my list for the most common and well-known spiders in the UK, are there any arachnids that I’ve missed? Maybe you’ve run into something even worse.. Let me know in the comments below!