The most venomous spider in Britain

June 30th, 2009 | by lucy |

This title has been awarded to an invasive species, Steatoda nobilis, known as the Biting Spider or False Black Widow.  It first arrived in England around 1870 on a shipment of bananas from the Canary islands to Torquay. Its bite is likened to that of a wasp sting, and can cause flu-like symptoms.  This unaggressive spider lived quietly in the Devon area, only starting to expand its range about 20 years ago, probably due to climate change.  Now found all over the south coast, it is expected to eventually spread to the north of the UK, no doubt giving the media further opportunities for sensational headlines.

Stuart Hine from the Natural History Museum shows us the spider in this video:

Biting spider

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