Tube Web Spider: All You Need to Know for Safe Encounters and Identification

Embarking on a journey to learn more about the tube web spider? You’re in the right place. The tube web spider, a fascinating part of the arachnid family, has a unique web-building style that sets it apart from other spiders.

Their tube-shaped webs provide a safe haven and hunting ground for these eight-legged wonders. These webs typically have a central tunnel where the spider waits for prey to get trapped in the surrounding silk threads. Once an unsuspecting insect becomes entangled, the tube web spider swiftly comes out to capture its meal.

As you continue to explore the world of tube web spiders, you’ll undoubtedly uncover even more intriguing aspects of this arachnid species. Their hunting techniques, characteristics, and the diverse environments they inhabit are just a few topics waiting to be discovered. So, grab your magnifying glass and dive in!

The Biology of Tube Web Spiders

Identifying Features of a Tube Web Spider

Tube web spiders, such as the Segestria florentina, can be easily recognized by their unique features. They have large green fangs called chelicerae, which are not only for show but also serve a functional purpose. You may also notice their arrangement of eyes – tube web spiders have six eyes, which helps them navigate during their nocturnal activities.

Some common prey for tube web spiders include:

  • Cockroaches
  • Moths
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Beetles

Unique Aspects of a Tube Web Spider

The most distinguishing characteristic is their web. Tube web spiders create a special type of web called a tube web, which consists of a funnel-shaped retreat made of silk, with numerous silk trip lines extending from its entrance. As a result, it becomes an efficient trap for various insects.

Moreover, tube web spiders are predominantly nocturnal, meaning they are more active at night. This trait allows them to catch their prey by surprise and avoid some predators.

Here are some specific highlights of a tube web spider:

  • Large, green fangs
  • Six eyes arrangement
  • Funnel-shaped silk web with trip lines
  • Primarily nocturnal

In conclusion, tube web spiders are fascinating creatures with distinctive features, such as their green fangs, eye arrangement, and specially constructed webs. Their nocturnal behavior also makes them intriguing hunters in the world of arachnids.

Habitat and Location

Tube Web Spiders in the UK

In the UK, you can find Tube Web Spiders primarily in Southern England. They prefer habitats with plenty of crevices and hiding spots, such as tree bark and gaps in walls. If you look closely, you might even spot some living in the cracks of houses or under loose tree bark.

These spiders thrive in urban and suburban environments, taking advantage of the numerous hiding spots. You’ll often come across them in gardens, parks, and wooded areas.

Tube Web Spiders Outside of the UK

Tube Web Spiders can also be found in various other locations around the world. They tend to favor similar habitats to their UK counterparts, seeking out crevices and sheltered spots. You might see them hiding in twigs, tree bark, or building exteriors.

To give you a better idea of their preferences, here are some key features of Tube Web Spider habitats:

  • Crevices and cracks in walls or tree bark
  • Sheltered, darker locations
  • Urban and suburban environments, such as parks and gardens

It’s important to remember that while Tube Web Spiders might appear intimidating, they help maintain a balance in the ecosystem by controlling insect populations. So next time you see one, take a moment to appreciate these fascinating creatures and the role they play in our environment.

Life Cycle of Tube Web Spiders

It all starts with an egg sac. When a female tube web spider lays her eggs, she creates a protective silk sac to keep them safe. In time, the spiderlings will hatch, each one eager to begin their life journey.

Venturing into the world, these young spiders face a challenging environment. But don’t worry, they are well-equipped to handle it. For example, during their first winter, they have special adaptations to survive lower temperatures. Their small size allows them to find shelter in nooks and crannies for protection against the harsh cold.

As the tube web spiders grow, they start learning important skills. They spin tubular webs as their name suggests. These webs serve as their homes and hunting grounds. Being ambush predators, they wait patiently for prey to wander too close to their hidden lairs.

In the blink of an eye, the tube web spider will lunge out, capturing its meal with ease. With each successful capture, the spider gains vital nutrients to support its growth and development.

Eventually, the spider reaches adulthood, and the cycle begins anew. The adult spiders will seek out mates to reproduce, creating more egg sacs, and ensuring the continuation of their species. Throughout their lives, tube web spiders will continue adapting and refining their skills, making them fascinating creatures to observe

Tube Web Spider’s Web Craft

Construction of Tube Web

Tube web spiders are unique creatures, especially known for their distinctive web construction. These spiders, commonly found in the UK, create a tubular web that serves as their home and hunting ground. The tube web is made of silk and is typically found along walls, fences, or tree trunks. Here are some features of their web construction:

  • The web is a single silk tube with multiple entrance threads.
  • Tube web spiders usually weave their webs in crevices or cracks for better protection.

The construction of the web is an impressive process. The spider starts by spinning a silk line from one point to another, creating the base of the tube. Then, they build multiple layers of silk to create a durable and stable structure.

How Tube Web Spiders Use Their Web to Catch Prey

Tube web spiders are nocturnal hunters and use their web as an efficient tool for catching prey. As they wait inside their tube web, their numerous entrance threads act as tripwires. When an unsuspecting insect comes into contact with these threads, the spider senses the disturbance and quickly rushes out to capture the prey. Here’s how they typically catch their prey:

  1. The spider waits inside the tube, hidden from view.
  2. An insect triggers an entrance thread, alerting the spider.
  3. The tube web spider springs out of the tube with lightning speed to catch the prey.

Some interesting characteristics of tube web spiders and their hunting habits include:

  • Tube web spiders are known to be efficient hunters due to their quick reaction time and precise movements.
  • Their preferred prey are moths, flies, and other insects.
  • These spiders use their strong fangs to inject venom into their prey, immobilizing them before consuming them.

In conclusion, tube web spiders are fascinating creatures with a unique web construction method and highly efficient hunting skills. Their tubular webs and nocturnal hunting habits make them effective predators in the world of spiders.

How Tube Web Spiders Interact With Humans

Tube Web Spider Bites

Tube web spiders can bite, but it’s important to note that their bites are rarely dangerous. According to Professor Adam Hart from the University of Gloucestershire, their bites can be painful but typically, the pain is similar to that of a bee sting. However, you should be cautious since everyone reacts differently to spider bites. It’s crucial to monitor the bite and seek medical attention if you observe any adverse reactions.

Common Encounters in Homes

Tube web spiders are often found in or around houses. They are frequently mistaken for other more dangerous spiders, like black widow spiders or cupboard spiders. Here are some features of tube spiders to help you identify them:

  • They create silk tubes in crevices or cracks as their dwellings.
  • Their bodies are dark in color, and adult females can reach up to 22 millimeters in size.
  • They are nocturnal and are mostly active during the night when searching for prey.

You can reduce the chances of encountering a tube spider at home by maintaining a clean environment and sealing any cracks or gaps in walls. But remember, although their bite may be painful, they are not considered dangerous unless you experience an extreme reaction to the bite.

Comparative Study: Tube Web Spider vs. Other Spiders

When it comes to UK spiders, there are many fascinating species like the Tube Web Spider (Segestria florentina), Lace Web Spider (Amaurobius similis), Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi), Noble False Widow Spider (Steatoda nobilis), and the infamous Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus mactans). Let’s take a closer look at some distinguishing features and compare them:

  • Tube Web Spider: These spiders build silk-lined burrows and wait for prey to approach. When it does, they ambush them using their six forward-facing eyes and powerful fangs. Their bites can be painful, but not dangerous to humans.

  • Lace Web Spider: Commonly found on walls and tree trunks, these spiders construct beautiful lace-like webs. They have a reddish-brown color and a distinctive, large abdomen.

  • Wasp Spider: Known for their striking appearance, these spiders feature yellow, black, and white bands on their abdomen. They build large, vertical orb webs, and corner their prey using a zigzag pattern of silk.

  • Noble False Widow Spider: This spider resembles the notorious Black Widow, but they’re less venomous. They prefer warm, dark spaces, like in houses or sheds.

  • Black Widow Spider: Famous for the red hourglass shape on their abdomen, these spiders are highly venomous. Native to North America, they’re unlikely to be encountered in the UK.

Here’s a quick comparison table to help you understand the differences:

Spider Key Feature Habitat Dangerous for humans
Tube Web Spider Silk-lined burrows Walls, bushes, trees Low risk
Lace Web Spider Lace-like webs Walls, tree trunks Not dangerous
Wasp Spider Banded abdomen Grassy meadows Not dangerous
Noble False Widow Spider Closely resembles Black Widow Houses, sheds Low risk
Black Widow Spider Red hourglass on abdomen North America High risk

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Tube Web Spider in UK

 

Subject: Tube? Spider in UK
Location: London, UK
November 28, 2013 6:01 am
Hi, I got home last night to find this guy in the kitchen. I haven’t seen anything like it before. It was black/very dark brown, hairy and seemed to have quite large ’fangs’.
I prodded him with a pencil and he aggressively raised his front legs.
Looking at the photo now I can see his fangs are slightly green. I’ve done a little searching online and think it looks very similar to the tube spider which is non native to the UK.
Signature: Nick Mumby

Tube Web Spider
Tube Web Spider

Hi Nick,
We believe you have correctly identified this spider as a Tube Web Spider,
Segestria florentina.  We began our search for the answer by finding this amusing BBC News story entitled Spider found in Noel Gallagher’s guitar case.  Though unidentified, that spider also appears to be a Tube Web Spider.  We added “green fangs” to the web search and found a Daily Mail Online article from October 2010 entitled An arachnophobe’s worst nightmare: Girl finds eight green-fanged spiders in her house (and yes, they do have a nasty bite).  Those spiders were identified as Segestria florentina and the article states:  “The spiders – part of the funnel web family – are said to be the second largest species in the UK.”  According to Nick’s Spiders of Britain and Europe:  “The first three pairs of legs on this spider face forward.”  Your photo illustrates that anatomical trait.  The Spider and Harvestman Recording Scheme website has some helpful information.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

2 thoughts on “Tube Web Spider: All You Need to Know for Safe Encounters and Identification”

  1. I think I have one in the front of my house and it’s destroying the brick leaving lots of tube like holes. Does anyone know how much damage they can cause?

    Reply

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