Tube Web Spiders
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Latin name: Segestria florentina
Size: Males can be between 10 and 16mm long. The females average between 15 and 23mm long
Distribution: Found mainly in southern England
Months seen: June to October
Habitat: Under stones or logs, and in holes in walls, trees and wooden fences
Food: Flies, beetles and other small insects
Special features: Tube Web Spiders are one of the larger spiders you're likely to encounter in the UK. It's a nocturnal spider with six eyes arranged in three groups of two.
The abdomen is long and cylindrical, and the first three pairs of legs all point forwards. The jaws are an iridescent green colour, and the bite is very painful.
As the name suggests Tube Web Spiders build a tubular retreat from silk. The entrance to the tube is surrounded by silk trip wires, arranged like spokes of a wheel, which alert the spider to the presence of prey.
The tube web spider is usually found around the locations of ports and docks which would indicate it was probably introduced to the UK some time ago on ships.
Eggs are laid in the tubular retreat and the female guards the young until they disperse. Sometimes the mother dies before they disperse, and she is eaten by her young.