Spitting Spider - Scytodes thoracica

    Description

    This fascinating species is the sole member of its family in Britain. It ranges from 3-6mm in size and the cephalothorax is massively domed when viewed from the side - a distinctive feature. The cephalothorax and abdomen are similar in size, colour and markings, both being straw-coloured and marked with black flecks. The legs are also straw-coloured with dark annulations.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Found in buildings, usually heated ones, and it has a particular association with museums.

    When to see it

    All year.

    Life History

    It is a slow-moving, nocturnal hunter which catches its prey by the unusual technique of squirting a sticky, venomous fluid from its chelicerae. These are moved in a side-to-side motion resulting in a zig-zag of threads that pins its prey to the surface. The same mechanism is used as a defense against other spiders.

    UK Status

    Widespread in southern Britain.

    VC55 Status

    There were just 3 records for Leicestershire and Rutland (from Jon Daws in 1999, 2000 and 2004) before the 2018 records.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map