The Last of the Big Spiders this year

I think many of you will be delighted to know that big spider season is ending soon. These big spiders which come into houses in autumn, are looking for mates. These unseen females are much stockier than their suitors, and generally stay in their webs, often hidden from pulic view. In order to let their boyfriends find them they release pheromones onto the air, and the males come running.

The biggest spider I have seen so far this season, a male Tegenaria duellica (sometimes called t. gigantea) House Spider. Just like all creatures confronted by an immense human monster, it fled and tried to climb the side of this old bath, in which I have grown potatoes.
The biggest spider I have seen so far this season, a male Tegenaria duellica (sometimes called T. gigantea) House Spider. Just like all creatures confronted by an immense human monster, it fled and tried to climb the side of this old bath, in which I have grown potatoes.

The males then live for a number of weeks or months in the webs with the females and leave before the young are born, or are killed and eaten for overstaying their welcomes. As a result, sensible males who leave early can grow to immense size and apparently live quite a few years. But by now most of the females have mats and will stop releasing pheromones and the males will go back to their regular lives, if they avoid the various predators that delight in eating them, especially Robins and Blackbirds, but Wrens too.

2 thoughts on “The Last of the Big Spiders this year”

  1. Hi Dean,
    They wouldn’t normally come in by choice. I think they prefer barns and outhouses, but they could be coming indoors in Europe because we have a much older tradition of permanent housing structures and they probably evolved their behaviour differently to your native ones. It’s interesting though.

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