Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Friday, 13 November 2015

A Spitter in the House...

As I went to move my coat off the bannister a few mornings back, I noticed a small spider walking across it. Thinking it was going to be one of the regular species I decided to catch it nonetheless just to move it out of harms way. It was only then that I got a closer look at it and immediately recognised it as Scytodes thoracica, a species I'd seen a few times but mostly in the south-east. I'd never encountered one locally before.

Scytodes is unusual in that it is the only species in the UK that actually spits its venom/web cocktail at its prey, sticking it down and allowing time for the spider to walk in and bite it properly. It's also unusual in having such a large domed thorax, almost rotund in appearance. This one was around 5 mm in body length, they're not big! They are always strikingly marked with bold black markings too, though not that noticeable until you zoom in close to them.

Scytodes thoracica: R. Harris

Scytodes thoracica: R. Harris

Scytodes thoracica: R. Harris

It's nice to still find new species for the house list at Whitestaunton!

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