Spider (Giant House) / Tegenaria gigantea

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The male spider dies after he finishes mating the female The female eats the male’s body after he has died. These spiders move very quickly reaching speeds of 0.53 ms/sec.

The giant house spider is one of the biggest spiders in Europe where it occupies caves and woodlands, living under rocks and stones. It is also commonly found in dark quiet corners of human habitations.

The webs built by the giant house spider are flat and messy with a funnel at one end. The spider lurks in the funnel until a small food animal gets trapped in the web, at which point the spider runs out and attacks it. The webs are often found in corners (on both the floor and ceiling), between boxes in basements, behind cupboards, in attics, or any other area that is rarely disturbed by large animals, or humans.

The Giant house spider possesses venom to subdue its invertebrate prey. Its fangs are long enough to penetrate human skin on occasion, although these spiders will not bite unless provoked. and the venom is not particularly toxic to humans. When the spider bites it also injects stomach enzymes which liquefiy the internal organs of the prey so that the spider can suck up their food.

The males are most commonly seen in our houses in the Autumn when they are wandering around looking for a mate. When they find a female they stay with her until after her final moult when she becomes mature. After mating the female stores the male’s sperm until the following Spring when she produces up to ten egg sacs containing 40-60 eggs. After emerging the spiderlings have to undergo up to seven moults to reach sub-adult stage. They themselves then become mature after a final moult.