Our guide to British invertebrates
(Eratigena atrica), up to five inches long
This prodigious, eight-hairy-legged spider used to frequent caves, but quickly moved in with Man when we began to build houses. It’s more conspicuous in the autumn, when the males start roaming about trying to find females. Rather gruesomely, the males then die after mating, whereupon the females eat them. This menacing arachnid has a venomous bite, however, it’s more likely to frighten you as it emerges from the plughole than to inflict a bite.