From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

9 UK household spiders and webs for you to spot

Use our guide to identify your eight-legged housemates and their webs.

© Sandra Doyle/The Art Agency
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False widow spider Steatoda grossa (above)

Body length: up to 10mm. Nearly always indoors, mainly in south. Venomous; seldom bites humans.


House spider Tegenaria sp.

House spider. © Chris Shields
© Chris Shields

Untidy sheet webs are slung in ceiling corners, constructed by large spiders that fall into baths and scuttle across ceilings and carpets at night.



Six-eyed spider. © Sandra Doyle/The Art Agency
© Sandra Doyle/The Art Agency

Body length: 1.5mm (male); 2mm (female). Hides by day; hunts by night on walls or windowsills.


Sheet web spider Amaurobius sp.

Sheet web. © Chris Shields
© Chris Shields

Webs around holes in walls, where the spider lurks. The vibration from a tuning fork held to the web will bring its owner racing out.


Daddy long legs spider Pholcus phalangioides

Daddy long-legs spider. © Sandra Doyle/TheArtAgency
© Sandra Doyle/TheArtAgency

Body length: up to 10mm. Restricted to houses; lurks in corners and traps house spiders by flinging silk at them. Open webs between wall and ceiling built by this lanky building-dweller. Spider trembles and gyrates if disturbed. Carries eggs in jaws.


Garden spider Araneus diadematus

Garden spider. © Chris Shields
© Chris Shields

Often turns up in conservatories. An orb web woven vertically across twigs. Spider hides under a leaf, with one foot on a signal thread that detects vibrations from struggling prey.


Cave spider Meta menardi

Cave spider. © Sandra Doyle/The Art Agency
© Sandra Doyle/The Art Agency

Body length: up to 15mm. Only in the darkest corners; females often guard hanging egg sacs made of silk.


Orb-web spider Zygiella x-notata

Orb-web spider. © Chris Shields
© Chris Shields

Orb web with a section free of spiral threads, traversed by a signal capture line leading to the spider’s lair. Often around doors and across window frames.


Zebra spider Salticus scenicu

Zebra spider. © Chris Shields
© Chris Shields

‘Barcode’-like patterning on abdomen. Can be found on the external walls of our houses.


Main image: © Sandra Doyle/The Art Agency


Jo PriceDeputy editor, BBC Wildlife Magazine

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