False Widows (Rabbit Hutch)
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Scientific name: Steatoda bipunctata
Size: Head and body up to 8mm long
Distribution: Found in many parts of England, but more abundant in the southern counties
Months seen: Females can be seen all year round. The males are normally seen from early summer to autumn
Habitat: Houses, sheds, out buildings including rabbit hutches
Food: Flies and other small insects
Special features: This is one of the spiders commonly known as a false widow spider. They're also sometimes referred to as Rabbit Hutch Spiders as they're frequently found inside rabbit hutches. The scientific name 'bipunctata' refers to the two indentations on the abdomen. These False Widows are usually chestnut coloured, although some specimens can be lighter in colour. Frequently there is a line of tiny cream coloured dots running around the midline of the abdomen, and there is sometimes a pale line running along the top of the abdomen from front to back. The males have distinctively large palps (see photos above).
The web consists of a mish-mash of short, irregularly placed silk strands.
When viewed from underneath this species has an unusual marking which looks like the 'Alpha' of the Greek alphabet.
2011 - Derby - Craig & Ruth Ibbotson
2012 - Cheltenham, Glos - G. Bradley
2012 - Paignton, Devon - Steve McMillan
2012 - Wotton-under-Edge, Glos - Karen Wilson
2013 - Borehamwood, Herts - Sarah David
2014 - Sherborne, Gloucestershire - G. Bradley