Tube Web Spider

Tube Web spider - Segestria florentina
Photo: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez License

The tube web spider (Segestria florentina) is a large, black and intimidating looking spider. With females reaching up to 22mm in body length this makes them one of the largest spiders found in Britain. As if to emphasise they mean business the spiders frequently have iridescent green fangs (you can just make out this on the photo above).

The name tube web comes from their tubular web which they spin into a crack or crevice. From the opening they lay six or more threads of silk radiating outwards. The spider generally keeps one leg on each thread and waits. When some unfortunate prey touches one of these threads the spider bolts out of its lair and sinks its prodigious fangs into it.
The spider can often be lured out of its retreat by tapping the trip-lines after sun down, if you are brave enough!

In common with the lace weaver spider, the tube web is matriphagous. That is the young devour the mother after hatching.

Like the false widow spider, the tube web is another immigrant to the UK. First recorded in 1845 the spider has made steady inroads into the UK and can now be found across much of southern England.

Also similar to the false widow is the painful bite. Although not quite as venomous as Steatoda nobilis the bite is still reported to be about as painful as a bee sting, or as one report puts it “…felt like a deep injection…”, with the pain lasting several hours.
The venom itself has been shown to contain 2 neurotoxins and one insecticide.

16 thoughts on “Tube Web Spider”

  1. My flat is infested with tube web spiders and I have been bitten by them many times, what is the long term effects of this?

  2. In as many as four days, I found a very large jet black one at the end of our garden, then next day found one outside our front door although slightly smaller then today saw one by our bins in the driveway with a slightly greyer body. I have photographs of all of them

  3. Our garage is infested with them, they live in the cracks and holes. Some are really big.
    Anyone know how I can safely get rid of them?

    • Hire pest control. I got my whole house fumigated due to spider infestation. It cost me £145, but that was 9 years ago. They use really strong stuff, and you can’t go in your house fir a while afterwards. But it’s worth it

  4. I have them around the windows on my balcony and they are huge only see it at night with the legs out. Do have a lot of wood louse in my garden though I’m guessing that is seggies main food source

  5. We seem to get them every year around this time on our south facing wall, in cracks between wood and concrete. I use a flea spray called Indorex, it’s available through some vets and on Amazon and eBay I think aswell. See the reviews on Amazon. It treats flea eggs and deals with spider eggs much the same way. I can’t stop them rehoming on the house from the garden every year, but spraying this into the cracks stops them laying eggs and causing an infestation and also is safe to use around animals and pets. Though it’s recommended to always read the label and follow the instructions.

  6. I live in Scotland and 28 years ago we saw a glimpse of a large, black spider disappearing into a hole in the flat we were staying in. We were sure the guy across the hall, who had exotic pets, that one of his spiders had escaped. This however I’m 99.9% positive what we saw. I know it was a while ago but you don’t forget seeing a creature like that!

    I do have a question though. My husband moved the sofa to clean and found a small dead mouse between 2 fairly large webs. The wee thing felt like a shell and there was no sign of decomp. Is there any spiders in the UK that would kill and eat a young mouse? I can’t think of any other reason why it would be where it was. Especially since there was no decomp and had no weight to it at all

    • Sorry this is a late reply. No doubt your query has already been answered or you’ve forgotten about it! The false widow is capable of killing small mammals and lizards. Its venom is roughly 200 times more potent than any native species of spider. Shrews and small bats have both been found bound up in their webs. Fortunately they try to stay away from us and tend to only bite through accidental contact. A warning nip normally involves a small amount of venom and is equivalent to a bee sting. A larger dose of venom can result in quite a miserable day or two. The severe reactions to bites you read about in the papers aren’t caused by the venom itself. Instead the spiders often harbour some very unpleasant bacteria on their fangs which can occasionally be transferred and cause serious infections. If you’re unlucky enough to be bitten and you’re taking a turn for the worse, get some antibiotics prescribed post haste. Trust me I’ve been there, it’s not a nice experience!

  7. we have many poking 5 or 6 legs out of our fence panels and holes in the wall. they seem to only come out at night and retreat when shining a torch at them. I live in a 1900 terraced cottage and am scared of going out the back door past our kitchen. back of our house is north facing. how do I get rid of them? I am the world’s worst arachnaphobe help!


Leave a comment