Order Araneae: The Spiders


Noble False Widow Steatoda nobilis male

A male Noble False Widow (Steatoda nobilis) Discovered in bathroom.
31st July 2020. © Peter Hillman

Clubiona sp.

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


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.

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.


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

Sardinidion blackwalli
_

Paidiscura pallens

Paidiscura pallens
_

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 Striped-spider
(Enoplognatha ovata) form lineata

Selimus vittatus

Selimus vittatus
_

Candy Stripe Spider (Enoplognatha ovata)

Candy Striped-spider
(Enoplognatha ovata) form redimita


Family Tetragnathidae (Long-jawed Orbweb Spiders)


Tetragnatha montana

Shadow Stretch-spider
(Tetragnatha montana)

Tetragnatha pinicola

Tetragnatha pinicola
_

Lesser Garden Spider Metellina segmentata

Lesser Garden Spider
(Metellina segmentata sensu lato)

Shaded Orbweaver Metellina merianae female

Shaded Orbweaver
(Metellina merianae)


Family Araneidae (Orbweb Spiders)


Garden Spider Araneus diadematus

Garden Spider
(Araneus diadematus)

Missing-sector Orbweb Spider Zygiella atrica juvenile

Missing-sector Orbweb Spider
(Zygiella atrica)

Walnut Orb-weaver Nuctenea umbratica

Walnut Orb-weaver
(Nuctenea umbratica)

Araniella sp.

Araniella sp.
_

Cucumber Green Spider Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato

Cucumber Spider
(Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato)

Missing-sector Orbweb Spider Zygiella x-notata

Missing-sector Orbweb Spider
(Zygiella x-notata)


Family Lycosidae (Wolf Spiders)


Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata

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)


Labyrinth Spider Agelena labyrinthica

Labyrinth Spider
(Agelena labyrinthica)

Eratigena sp. atrica group male

Eratigena sp. atrica group

Common House Spider Tegenaria domestica male

Common House Spider
(Tegenaria domestica)


Family Dictynidae (Meshweb Spiders)


Nigma walckenaeri male

Nigma walckenaeri
_

Dictyna uncinata

Dictyna uncinata
_


Family Amaurobiidae (Laceweb Spiders)


Lace-weaver Spider Amaurobius similis

Lace-weaver Spider
(Amaurobius similis)

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 comta

Clubiona comta
_

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)

Centromerita bicolor

Centromerita bicolor
_

Erigone atra

Erigone atra
_

Microneta viaria

Microneta viaria
_

Lepthyphantes minutus

Lepthyphantes minutus
_

Tenuiphantes tenuis

Tenuiphantes tenuis
_


For further reference see the links below:

British Arachnological Society (BAS) – Here you can find information on all things arachnological. Our emphasis is on British spiders but we also include other British arachnids, particularly Harvestmen (opilionids), Pseudoscorpions and Scorpions.

Facebook British Spider Identification Group – Any member can post information, ask questions, add albums or photos. If you need a spider identified we will do our best to help you.

Facebook UK Spiders Group – This is a page for spiders that have been found in the UK and Ireland

iRecord – iRecord is a website for sharing wildlife observations, including associated photos – you can register quickly and for free. Once you’ve registered, you can add your own biological records for other to see, and you can see what has been recorded by others. The goal of iRecord is to make it easier for wildlife sightings to be collated, checked by experts and made available to support research and decision-making at local and national levels.

NBN Atlas – The NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas is an online tool that provides a platform to engage, educate and inform people about the natural world. It will help improve biodiversity knowledge, open up research possibilities and change the way environmental management is carried out in the UK.