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Scientific name: Tegenaria duellica
Size: Body and head 10mm to 14mm. Legs 50 to 60mm
Distribution: Found throughout the UK
Months seen: All year round
Habitat: Houses and out buildings (sheds, garages etc.)
Food: Small insects which are caught in a web
Special features: This is one of about a dozen species which inhabit houses and outbuildings - hence the common name house spiders.
They make a thick sheet web, about 15cm across, usually in a neglected corner of a house or shed. The web has a tubular retreat at the rear where the spider sits and waits for dinner to drop by.
They become more noticeable in autumn, which is their mating season. The males are often seen scuttling across a room or falling into bath tubs as they move around in search of a female. The males have longer legs than the females, while the females have broader abdomens than the males.
The species shown in the photo above is very similar in appearance to the 'aggressive house spider' or hobo spider (Tegenaria agrestis), which is known to bite humans with little provocation. Despite its name, it is rarely seen in houses, preferring sheds, garages, and log piles.
House spiders can survive for several months without food or water.