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Spitting Spiders

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Quick Facts

Scientific name:  Scytodes thoracica

Size:  Up to 6mm

Distribution:  Found mainly in southern England up to the Midlands

Months seen:  March to November

Habitat:  Mainly found in houses

Food:  Small invertebrates

Special features:  Spitting spiders are a pale creamy-brown colour and covered with small chocolate brown dots.  The carapace (front end) slopes upwards towards its abdomen, which slopes downwards.  Spitting spiders have three pairs of eyes.  Males and females look very similar.

The dome-shaped head houses some relatively enormous glands which produce poison and a sticky silk.  The Spitting Spider is able to spray this sticky, poisonous 'goo' as a jet of liquid through holes in thier fangs in order to trap their prey.  As they fire it they wave their fangs from side to side to cover their victim and pin it to the ground.  The attack lasts just a fraction of a second, and once the victim is trapped beneath these sticky poisonous strands the Spitting Spider moves in for the kill.

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