The notorious False Widow spider
What is all the hype about the false widow spiders being found in Plymouth, Devon
The False Widow spider has become a bit of a tabloid sensation lately, and causing a bit of a scare especially amongst those arachnophobes that can't stand the sight of these eight legged creatures, so I decided to do a little research into these eight legged friends and see what all the hype was about, especially as they seem to be more common in the southwest including Plymouth.
It's a far cry from the usual newborn baby and children photography I am used to photographing and creating portraits for, I don't think I have ever had a subject with the fearsome credentials this spider has recently come to have and to be honest I'm pretty happy to stick with baby's and children.
It's a fact that this spider is 'the most dangerous spider in Britain' and will give you a bite, its however not a severe as you might be led to believe, a bite will cause swelling, pain, numbness, nausea, and sometimes chest pain or palpitation's, however there has never been a recorded fatality in Britain from a False Widow bite, and a bite is said to be just a bad a wasp sting.
There are in fact 4 different species of False Widow spiders in the UK with the noble False Widow (steatoda nobilis) being the most common (pictured above), it is a relation to the notorious Black Widow spider which is 1000 times more deadly than the false widow spider.
It is thought they were brought over to the UK when a shipment of bananas was delivered in Torquay in 1879, so the false widow is not a new species and has been resident for over 150 years, and it is more common in the southwest and south of the UK, but found across the UK. So why is it only recently we are hearing about these spider's, Its more than likely they are swelling in numbers due to our milder climate plus they like our warm homes, so they are being spotted more often.
So there was a little bit of info about a notorious spider that I found in my house in Plymouth, I think its a spider to watch for and not pick up but one not to fear.
It sure was fun photographing this little fella for his spidey portrait! I don't particularly mind spiders but after reading stories in the papers I wasn't going to handle it, and still probably won't but sure gave me some good shots, especially as I'm more known as a baby, children and wedding photographer in Plymouth so it was good to try something new and have the challenge of photographing one of the UK's most dangerous spiders.