Tube Web Spider
Special features: By UK standards the tube web spider is a large spider. It is nocturnal, and has six eyes arranged in three groups of two.
The abdomen is long and cylindrical, and the first three pairs of legs all point forwards. The jaws are an iridescent green colour. The bite is very painful.
As it's name suggests, the tube web spider builds a tubular retreat from silk. The entrance to the tube is surrounded by silk 'trip wires' which alert the spider to the presence of prey.
The tube web spider is usually found around the locations of ports and docks which would indicate it was probably introduced to the UK some time ago on ships.
Eggs are laid in the tubular retreat and the female guards the young until they disperse. Sometimes the mother dies before they disperse, and is eaten by the young.
Latin name: Segestria florentina
Size: Males can be between 10 and 16mms long. The females average between 15 and 22mms long, although the one photographed above was around 30mms long.
Distribution: Found mainly in southern England.
Months seen: June to October.
Food: Flies, beetles and other small insects.
Habitat: Under stones or logs, and in holes in walls, trees and wooden fences.