An arachnophobe's worst nightmare: Girl finds eight green-fanged spiders in her house (and yes, they do have a nasty bite)


Creepy: Jessica Buston, 13, was terrified when she came across these green fanged critters living in her house. Luckily, although they do bite if disturbed, they are not dangerous to humans

It's every arachnophobe's worst nightmare - spiders with giant green fangs who wait until it's dark to pounce on unsuspecting passers-by.

But that's the terrifying scenario in one Devon house which has become home to a colony of rare segestria florentinas.

Jessica Buston, 13, discovered eight of the creepy crawlies - which measure up to an inch in body-length - living in holes at her house in Exeter, Devon.

'They are black all over and have two green fangs, which made them look really scary,' she said.

'We found them living in holes at the back of our house.

'I was a bit scared to start with but I've got used to them now and I'm happy for them to stay where they are.'

The spiders - part of the funnel web family - are said to be the second largest species in the UK and can deliver a nasty but non-venomous bite.

Jessica's dad, Mark, a 40-year-old plumber, added: 'They are a fascinating sight.
'The fangs are really luminous and when they are sitting in their holes, you can just see these two green fangs.

'They do look a bit scary but they are not dangerous so we are OK with them being there.

'And I think we are a bit big to be on their list of prey.'

Hole in the wall: The creepy critters - a type of funnel spider - are the second largest found in Britain. They build webs in little holes, emerging at lightning speed to catch their prey when they feel them tugging at the web

Although they have been spotted in various locations around the South West, the segestria florentina is still an unusual sight for many.

The spiders are thought to have originated in the Mediterranean and North Africa and made their way across to the UK on cargo ships.

Kelvin Boot, a local naturalist and former presenter on BBC Radio 4's Natural History programme, from Kenton, near Exeter, said: 'This truly is a magnificent and quite beautiful spider with its chocolate brown body and bronze-green fangs.

Family friend: Jessica Buston, 13, no longer minds sharing her home with the creepy crawlies, so long as they don't bite

'By any stretch of the imagination, this is an impressive spider.

'It sits at the mouth of its tunnel in old brickwork or behind loose bark or any other suitable hole, waiting for a hapless insect to stumble across the spokes - trip wires that alert the spider to its victim.

'Once detected, the spider moves like lightning. I defy anybody not to jump when this happens as it is such a surprise even if you are expecting it.

'The prey is dragged back into the narrow tube and eventually the spider's venom overcomes the prey.'

Mr Boot said the spider is not dangerous but has been known to bite people.
'Segestria florentina is one spider that can bite and does cause a slight irritation - like a bad nettle sting - in some people,' he said.

'It bites in defence so if you pick one up, or it gets caught in your clothing, you are likely to be nipped.

'But no British spider delivers a fatal bite, or even one dangerous to humans.
'It seems this spider was accidentally introduced into UK from its native Mediterranean and North Africa.

'One theory suggests it hitched a lift from the ports where it arrived on pack animals transporting goods.

'In the case of Exeter, this might have been as long ago as the woollen trade era, or when wagons were pulling building stone from Dartmoor.'

Anyone who spots the spider should leave them alone as they pose no threat if left undisturbed.

source :dailymail