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.
Untidy sheet webs are slung in ceiling corners, constructed by large spiders that fall into baths and scuttle across ceilings and carpets at night.
Body length: 1.5mm (male); 2mm (female). Hides by day; hunts by night on walls or windowsills.
Sheet web spider Amaurobius sp.
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
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
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
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 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
‘Barcode’-like patterning on abdomen. Can be found on the external walls of our houses.
Main image: © Sandra Doyle/The Art Agency