Spiders in London
Spiders are common around London and can be found in almost every habitat, including our own homes. While they can be seen throughout the year, you are most likely to see spiders in late summer and autumn, when they are at their biggest and looking for a mate.
A few spiders have a habit of entering our homes, the most obvious example being the giant house spider which can grow quite large (leg span 6-7cm) and will hide away in the corners of rooms or under furniture. They can run fast, which can cause surprise, but they are not aggressive and will attempt to escape or hide if disturbed. One species found in London that often attracts media attention is the false widow spider, which as the name suggests is similar in appearance to the much more dangerous Black widow spider that does not live in this country.
• Spiders have eight legs with British spiders have six or eight eyes.
• The silk spiders produce for their webs is tougher, weight-for-weight, than steel (medical research is looking at spider silk as a potential material for making artificial joints)
• Spiders first evolved 318 million years ago, before dinosaurs
• Spiders are found in every continent except Antarctica
• There are around 45,000 species of spider worldwide and roughly 660 of which live in Britain, with approximately 395 species recorded in London – with new species found almost every year.