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Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:41 pm
by Dave Brown
This Spider is only small, maybe 12mm including legs, but I've nick named it Casper after seeing the close up pic as it has a ghosty on it's back.

I wasn't aware that it was there but heard a buzzing yesterday and observed a Bumble Bee caught in a web of sorts. I say of sorts as more a chaotic tangle of threads rather than an Orb. Most spiders won't take on prey larger than themselves but Casper flew out and tried to bite the Bee. It wasn't successful mainly due to the hair on the Bee's abdomen, and eventually it struggled free and flew off. Casper then disappeared back into it's hide.

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:45 pm
by fieldfest
false black widow, dont let it bite you. i always kill these.

read the last sentence in this: http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/Hi ... ewidow.pdf

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:20 pm
by kata
They don't stand a chance in my house no matter what type,

I caught a very big one and a medium one this week. One in the lounge, the other in the bathroom sink. I now have plugged the shower drain and the sink, also kitchen sink.

icon_cheers icon_cheers

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:14 pm
by Dave Brown
fieldfest wrote:false black widow, dont let it bite you. i always kill these.

read the last sentence in this: http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/Hi ... ewidow.pdf
Looking at the web which is right above my desk, the conservatory is covered in them. :lol: Must have dozens

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:56 pm
by flounder
Theres a smaller type in my garden, same sort of markings. They favour living in the solar lights. Fascinating to watch

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:31 pm
by cordyman
Great sequence of shots!


Don't recall seeing one of those up here.

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:04 pm
by fieldfest
cordyman wrote:Great sequence of shots!


Don't recall seeing one of those up here.
its a south coast thing, came in off banana boats from tropical regions

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:18 pm
by cordyman
fieldfest wrote:
cordyman wrote:Great sequence of shots!


Don't recall seeing one of those up here.
its a south coast thing, came in off banana boats from tropical regions
Thanks god for that :lol:

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:33 pm
by Dave Brown
From Wiki

The spider is introduced across Europe, plus parts of North Africa, and likely spreading. It was found for the first time in 2011 in Cologne, Germany.[6] It is originally from the Canary Islands and Madeira.[7] In England it has been reported mostly in southern counties,[8][9] but its range appears to be expanding northwards.[10][11] It has recently established itself in Ventura County, California.[12]

As with other members of the family Theridiidae, S. nobilis constructs a cobweb, i.e., an irregular tangle of sticky silken fibres. However, its 'scaffold web' differs from others of the genus in the exceptional strength of the silk, and in the tubular retreat that is at least partly concealed in a deep crack or hole.[9] They have poor eyesight and depend mostly on vibrations reaching them through their webs to orient themselves to prey or warn them of larger animals that could injure or kill them.

Population expansion in UK

The distribution of S. nobilis is expected to increase northwards in the UK, due at least partly to mild summers in recent years. This prediction was reported by Stuart Hine of the Natural History Museum,[13] and is substantiated by the National Recording Scheme.[9]
Medical significance

They are not aggressive, so occasional injuries to humans are only likely due to defensive bites delivered when a spider gets unintentionally squeezed or pinched.

The bite of S. nobilis is almost exclusively of mild effect on humans, without severe consequences that can present from black widow spiders. However, its bite is often alleged to be one of the medically significant for humans, even though the few recorded bites do not typically present any long-lasting effects. The bite of this spider, along with others in the genus Steatoda, can produce a set of symptoms known as steatodism. Symptoms of bites include intense pain radiating from the bite site, along with feverishness or general malaise.[14]

Sensationalized stories about the bite of S. nobilis have featured in UK newspaper articles. Stuart Hine from the Natural History Museum, London responded on the naturenet blog, stating, "Of course I also explain the great value of spiders and how rare the event of spider bite in the UK actually is. I also always explain that up to 12 people die from wasp/bee stings in the UK each year and we do not panic so much about wasps and bees – but this never makes it past editing." [13]

Alleged Incidents
In 2006 a Dorchester man spent three days in Dorset County Hospital with symptoms of heart seizure, after suffering a spider bite believed to be caused by S. nobilis. A spider was observed in the act of biting the man, though it was not captured and so not formally identified by an experienced arachnologist.[5]
In 2012 a man collapsed in Southampton after apparently being bitten on his neck. He had complained of feeling hot, queasy and light headed. He required treatment in hospital, where it was discovered that he had been bitten 10 times on the neck, allegedly by the same large spider. The spider (which had been trapped in the victim's hooded jacket) was caught and tentatively identified by health workers as S.nobilis. There is no information about whether the identity was confirmed by an experienced arachnologist, so the identity of the spider is dubious.[15]
In 2012 a woman in Dorset suffered serious effects after her hand was supposedly bitten by a false widow spider. The identity of the spider involved, if any, remained uncertain, and there is no direct evidence to show it was actually a spider bite.[16]

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:16 am
by fieldfest
It's been in the uk for over 100 years, first recorded in 1879

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:01 am
by Dave Brown
fieldfest wrote:It's been in the uk for over 100 years, first recorded in 1879
Yes came in to Torquay. Looking at the type of web, it's been in my conservatory for years, just the small size of the spider compared to some I've had, I've never given it a second thought. :lol:

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:10 am
by cordyman
You got any recent pics of your conservatory spider collection? icon_scratch

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:33 am
by Dave Brown
cordyman wrote:Great sequence of shots!


Don't recall seeing one of those up here.
Stephen Prudence gets them in Wirral, so they are not far away. They come into ports and spread from there, so I imagine Liverpool docks will be the culprit, particularly if Dwarf Cavendish bananas are brought in from the Canaries.

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:45 am
by cordyman
i'd rather not have these in my location!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... pider.html

Re: Casper attacks Bumble Bee

Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:04 pm
by Alexander
Well we have some Steatoda species here in the country. But this nasty one is not among them! Probably the colder winters keep it at bay here. Looking at the distribution maps its in the UK its found in the mildest coastal regions in the South and London. So a combination of very mild winters and not to chilly summers. A climate where also Phoenix canariensis_CIDP can survive.

At lest the colder winters in my area have a binificial effect then in killing of these creatures. They must have arrived with bananas here in ports in the past also but did never manage to establish populations.

That spider seems to be of a subtropical origin.

srs.britishspiders.org.uk/portal.php/p/Summary/s/Steatoda+nobilis

Alexander