Steatoda nobilis (false widow spider)



I took this False widow spider out of my shed .

Adult spiders are capable of biting humans. Spiders are not aggressive and most injuries to humans are defensive bites delivered when a spider becomes unintentionally squeezed or pinched.

Steatoda nobilis
Steatoda nobilis the false widow spider will only bite defensively when under attack.
The bite of the false widow spider can be medically significant in humans, but usually without any long-lasting effects.

Reports from those bitten describe a certain amount of pain, which often radiates along the limb or part of the body where bitten, and often a degree of swelling in the affected part. Some describe fever and a general feeling of being unwell. These symptoms may last for a couple of days but the total effect is unlikely to be more serious than that.

As for bites from other species in the genus Steatoda, it can produce a set of symptoms known as steatodism.

More serious symptoms have occasionally been reported, but are likely to be the exceptional reaction of individuals to the venom. It is always advisable to seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

The false widow spider commonly occurs along a stretch of the south coast of England from Devon through to Dorset, Sussex and more recently along to Essex.

Steatoda nobilis is now spreading

quite rapidly south to London (Surrey) and Berkshire while increasing in Essex
northwards with recent records from Leicestershire and Barry, South Glamorgan
Steatoda nobilis has been established near the south coast of England for over a century with strongholds on the Dorset and Hampshire coast.

The false widow spider is thought to be repeatedly introduced at ports with imports of bananas.

Steatoda nobilis is strongly synanthropic and is most commonly found in and around domestic and commercial premises, including conservatories, public toilet blocks, garages and sheds….Natural history Museum

Devils Coach-horse (Ocypus olens) * cycle to Wicken Fen *


On a cycle to Wicken fen nature reserve today this beasty ran across my path. It is a Devils Coach-horse.


The Devil’s coach horse is a long, black beetle with short elytra (wing cases). At first glance you could mistake it for an earwig.

A nocturnal predator, this beetle lives in and around decaying matter. During the day it tends to rest among leaf litter or under stones. Females lay their eggs in the soil, and these hatch into carnivorous larvae.

It overwinters as a pupa in leaf litter or moss and emerges as an adult the following spring. If you disturb a Devil’s coach horse, it adopts an aggressive, scorpion-like position – it raises its rear end and opens its powerful jaws.

If it still feels threatened it squirts a foul-smelling fluid from its abdomen. Beware – this beetle can also give a painful bite.

What does it eat?
Fly larvae, insects, spiders and slugs.

When will I see it?
Spring, summer and autumn.

Where will I see it?
Throughout the garden. Sometimes in damp outhouses. Also in parks, hedgerows, meadows and woods….RSPB


Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus) *Last instar nymph


A large and mottled reddish-brown squashbug with a broad, oval abdomen. The two small projections between the antennae are diagnostic.

There is one generation per year, adults mating and laying eggs in spring. The nymphs feed on dock and other related plants in the Polygonaceae; new adults may be found from August onwards. Common and widepread in southern Britain, including Ireland, where it may be found in a variety of dry and damp habitats….British Bugs


Photographed on a Boysenberry

Destroying Angel/Amanite viteuse



I know its not an insect but interesting all the same, I have had this Fungi turn up in a planter in my garden and its been ID’d by two people as a Destroying Angel. Which as the name suggests is a deadly fungus.

The first symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, persistent diarrhea, and severe stomach pains; the onset of symptoms normally occurs some eight to ten hours or as long as twenty-four hours after eating a meal containing these amanitas. After this there may be a period of apparent improvement before the second effect of the poisoning occurs; this is a deterioration in function of both the liver (hepatic failure) and the kidneys (renal failure). These will show up in the patient as yellowing or discoloration of the whites of the eyes and skin, as in hepatitis, and also in discoloration of the urine.

Crane Fly (Tipula paludosa)


Very similar to T. oleracea. The females are more easily identified as the wings of the female Tipula paludosa are shorter than the abdomen.
An abundant grassland species, often found in agricultural fields, parks and gardens, sometimes in considerable numbers.
When to see it
It flies between April and October but is most common in autumn
Life History
The soil dwelling larvae are the crop-damaging pests known as ‘leatherjackets’.
UK Status
Common and widespread across Britain….. Nature Spot