Bug’s Life

Our guide to Bri­tish in­ver­te­brates

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

(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.

Si­mon Lester

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