This spider was photographed on the wall at the bottom of our stairs. It’s Steatoda grossa or, in English according to Wikipedia: Cupboard Spider, Dark Comb-footed Spider, Brown House Spider (in Australia) or – more ominously – False Black Widow.
With all the current hype surrounding the new Spiderman film that’s just been released, it’s interesting to note that it was this species of spider that nipped Peter Parker in the brilliant 2002 release, albeit painted with blue & red stripes for dramatic effect! You can see it here if you're not squeamish!
The fact is that this is one of only a dozen or so species of spider in the UK whose jaws can pierce the skin, resulting in pain and, sometimes, an allergic reaction that can be nasty, but it’s sad to see the public fear and overreaction that inevitably follows the diagnosis of a spider bite.
That was the case last week here on the Isle of Wight. You can read the story in the Isle of Wight County Press. I really do feel sorry for what Shannon has gone through but the hype is not helpful!