Order Araneae: The Spiders


We have all seen spiders, and whilst some of us are admiring of them and fascinated by them, others hate and fear them. Spiders are all around us, in most habitats, including woodland, hedgerows, farmland, grassland, gardens, outbuildings, and of course in our very homes, where most people encounter them. Some spiders, like the orb-web spiders, build intricately shaped webs to catch their prey, others, like the crab spiders, stay still and wait patiently for prey to come within grasping reach, whilst others, such as wolf spiders and jumping spiders, are fearsome hunters that relentlessly stalk their prey.

There are around 670 species of spider in Britain, 3,000 in Europe, and 48,000 that have so far been discovered so far, and all of them play an important roll in a balanced ecosystem. Whether they help keep numbers of pest species down of other invertebrates like flies, mites and lice by eating them, or whether they are eaten themselves by birds or small mammals, they play a very important role in keeping a healthy environment.

Clubiona sp.

Clubiona sp. discovered in garden. 19th July 2019. © Peter Hillman

Platnickina tincta

Platnickina tincta, female, discovered in garden. 28th April 2018. © Peter Hillman.

There is a lot of false information and a ‘mythology’ within media circles and society as a whole regarding these eight-legged creatures which really don’t help their reputation, and most often they are presumed guilty from the outset, judged so and are squished by a rolled up newspaper or a tightly gripped slipper. The vast majority of spiders produce venom which they use to inject poison to paralyse and kill their prey, yet there are very few British species that can actually bite and penetrate through human skin let alone inject any poison. The only time they will do this is if they are threatened or provoked, or trapped in clothing, and even then the bite is usually very mild for the average person, but as with bee and wasp stings, an individual’s response may vary. Complications usually arise from scratching the site of a bite and having it become infected.

Spiders have been on planet Earth for a long, long time. They were here before the dinosaurs, and have survived global extinction events. So it is safe to say they are here to stay, and will probaby be here once we have gone our way in the future.


Clicking on an image below will open up the individual species page with specific information and photographs.


Family Pholcidae: Cellar Spiders


Daddy Long-legs Spider Pholcus phalangioides

Daddy Long-legs Spider
(Pholcus phalangioides)


Family Segestriidae: Tubeweb Spiders


Snake-back Spider Segestria senoculata

Snake-back Spider
(Segestria senoculata)


Family Oonopidae: Goblin Spiders


Goblin Spider Oonops domesticus

Goblin Spider
(Oonops domesticus)


Family Theridiidae: Comb-footed Spiders


Rabbit Hutch Spider Steatoda bipunctata
Rabbit Hutch Spider
(Steatoda bipunctata)
Theridion blackwalli
Theridion blackwalli
.
Noble False Widow Steatoda nobilis male
Noble False Widow Spider
(Steatoda nobilis)
Theridion melanurum
Theridion melanurum
.
Platnickina tincta
Platnickina tincta
.
Candy Stripe Spider (Enoplognatha ovata)
Candy Stripe Spider
(Enoplognatha ovata) form lineata
Anelosimus vittatus
Selimus vittatus
.
Candy Stripe Spider (Enoplognatha ovata)
Candy Stripe Spider
(Enoplognatha ovata) form redimita

Family Tetragnathidae: Long-jawed Orbweb Spiders


Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spider (Tetragnatha extensa)
Tetragnatha montana
Tetragnatha pinicola
Tetragnatha pinicola
Lesser Garden Spider (Metellina segmentata)
Lesser Garden Spider (Metellina segmentata)
Shaded Orbweaver Metellina merianae female
Shaded Orbweaver
(Metellina merianae)

Family Araneidae: Orbweb Spiders


Garden Spider Araneus diadematus
Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus)
Walnut Orb-weaver (Nuctenea umbratica)
Walnut Orb-weaver (Nuctenea umbratica)
Cucumber Green Spider Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato
Cucumber Spider (Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato)
Double click on imagMissing-sector Orb Weaver Zygiella x-notata malees to enlarge. August 2017, Staffordshire, England.
Missing-sector Orbweb Spider (Zygiella x-notata)

Family Lycosidae: Wolf Spiders


Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata female
Spotted Wolf Spider (Pardosa amentata)
Pirate Wolf Spider Pirata piraticus
Pirate Wolf Spider (Pirata piraticus)
Ground Wolf Spider Trochosa terricola
Ground Wolf Spider (Trochosa terricola)

Family Pisauridae: Nurseryweb Spiders


Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis
Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Family Agelenidae: Funnelweb Spiders


Agelena labyrinthica
Labyrinth Spider (Agelena labyrinthica)
Large House Spider Tegenaria sp (atrica group) male
Large House Spider (Tegenaria gigantea)

Family Dictynidae: Meshweb Spiders


Nigma walckenaeri
Nigma walckenaeri
Dictyna uncinata
Dictyna uncinata

Family Amaurobiidae: Laceweb Spiders


Lace-weaver Spider Amaurobius similis
Lace-weaver Spider (Amaurobius similis)
Window Lace-weaver (Amaurobius fenestralis)
Window Lace-weaver (Amaurobius fenestralis)
Black Lace-weaver – Amaurobius ferox
Black Lace-weaver (Amaurobius ferox)

Family Anyphaenidae: Buzzing Spiders


Anyphaena accentuata
Buzzing Spider (Anyphaena accentuata)

Family Clubionidae: Sac Spiders


Clubiona sp.
Clubiona sp.

Family Gnaphosidae: Ground Spiders


Mouse Spider Scotophaeus blackwalli
Mouse Spider (Scotophaeus blackwalli)

Family Philodromidae: Running Crab Spiders


Philodromus dispar male
Philodromus dispar
Philodromus albidus
Philodromus albidus
Philodromus sp aureolus group
Philodromus sp. aureolus group
Grass Spider (Tibellus oblongus)
Grass Spider (Tibellus oblongus)

Family Thomisidae: Crab Spiders


Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia
Goldenrod Spider (Misumena vatia)
Common Crab Spider (Xysticus cristatus)
Common Crab Spider (Xysticus cristatus)
Ozyptila praticola
Ozyptila praticola
Diaea dorsata spiderling
Green Crab Spider (Diaea dorsata) spiderling

Family Salticidae: Jumping Spiders


Zebra Spider Salticus scenicus
Zebra Spider (Salticus scenicus)
Sitticus pubescens
Sitticus pubescens
Pseudeuophrys lanigera
Pseudeuophrys lanigera

Family Linyphiidae: Money Spiders


Common Hammock-weaver (Linyphia triangularis)
Common Hammock-weaver (Linyphia triangularis)
Erigone atra
Erigone atra
.
Lepthyphantes minutus
Lepthyphantes minutus
.