Walnut Orbweb Spider Nuctenea umbratica

Walnut Orb-weaver Nuctenea umbratica

Discovered on garden shed. 19th June 2005. © Peter Hillman

Family Araneidae (Orbweb spiders)

Body length 8-14 mm.

Also called the Toad Spider, this is dark spider with a dark brown to black carapace, and a mottled brown, leathery abdomen. The legs are brown to black. Unlikely to be confused with any other species.

This orbweb spider may bite humans, causing skin irritation which can be quite painful resulting in burning and itching sensations, redness and white lumps. A nocturnal hunter, and spins its web just before dark to catch moths and other nocturnal insects.

Females are seen all year round, where as the males are seen in the summer.

Found in woods and gardens, hiding under the bark of trees, especially rotten stumps or logs. They can also be found resting on fence posts and gates. It is common and widespread throughout Britain, although not frequently seen. A native species.