Exotic spiders in Britain


This video says about itself:

20 March 2015

This wasp spider waits for some hapless victim to fall into its trap: then it will pounce on its prey. Spiders set their silken traps in strategic locations, tending to and repairing their complicated structures, or even building a new one, every day.

Millions of insects daily fall victim to these invisible, sticky giant silken nets of the spiders.

This Argiope spider watchfully waits, detecting the slightest movement of its web through its forelegs.

When a victim makes contact with the sensitive web, the spider attacks quickly; the prey is immobilized with a venom that both paralyzes it and liquefies its insides with protein-dissolving enzymes. Wrapped up in silk, the wasp spider liquefied its completely internal organs.

The male of this species of spiders, much smaller than the female, dare not approach his potential mate until she reaches sexual maturity.

Then, for a short period only, her fearsome mouthparts soften: only then can the male copulate without fear of being eaten by his spider partner.

From British daily The Independent:

Alien invasion: Non-indigenous spiders thriving across Britain

Poisonous spiders are often brought into Britain with exotic plants. But where they once died off when winter came, rising temperatures have seen colonies become established. And they’re spreading.

By Jerome Taylor

Wednesday, 15 October 2008 …

New species…

Steatoda nobilis

A less venomous member of the false widow family, which was probably introduced into Britain from the Canary Islands and Madeira. Can now be found across the South-west.

Argiope bruennichi

A native of southern Europe, Argiope bruennichi has been living happily in southern England for decades. Often called the wasp spider because of its yellow and black colouring, it is not venomous to humans.

Steatoda paykulliana

Frequently mistaken for the more dangerous black widow spider, Steatoda paykulliana is part of the false widow family and has created colonies in Plymouth. It is mildly venomous and can deliver a nasty bite, likened to a bee sting.

Segestria florentina

A member of the funnel web family, the tube web is now one of Britain’s largest spiders. They spin a tubular web, often in masonry cracks, and are known to bite. Can be found across the South and the Midlands.

Dicranopalpus ramosus

Not technically a spider, Dicranopalpus ramosus is a species of harvestman that was first spotted in Bournemouth in 1957 and can now be seen as far north as Tyneside. Harvestmen differ from spiders in that they only have one section of body as opposed to two.

See also here on a pseudoscorpion.

Brown widow spiders are relatively new to North America, where they were first documented in Florida in 1935, and even newer to southern California, where they were only recently discovered in 2003. However, in the last decade they have been so successful that they may be displacing native black widow spiders. If so, the overall danger to homeowners may decrease because brown widow spider bites are less toxic than those of native western black widow spiders: here.

North American Desert Tarantula: here.

Spiders and Scorpions Among World’s Oldest Creatures: here.

One thought on “Exotic spiders in Britain

  1. Pingback: New spider discovery in new Welsh nature reserve | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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