Spiders in London
Spiders are common in London and can be found in almost every habitat, including our 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 largest 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 extremely fast, which can cause surprise. Spiders are not generally aggressive and will attempt to escape or hide if disturbed. One species found in London that often attracts some media attention is the false widow spider. As its name suggests this spider is similar in appearance to the much more dangerous Black widow spider found in Australia however, the False Widow does NOT have any red markings, nor does it reside in the UK.
• Spiders have eight legs with British spiders have six or eight eyes.
• The silk that 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 human joints)
• Spiders first evolved 318 million years ago. This is long before dinosaurs
• Spiders are found in every continent except Antarctica
• There are around 45,000 species of spider worldwide with roughly 660 of which live in Britain. There are approximately 395 species recorded in London alone – with new species being found almost every year.