Published: 00:01, 04 November 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
A venomous green-fanged spider normally found in the Mediterranean has set up home on a Canterbury doorstep.
Believed to be the first sighted in the city, the segestria florentina is living in a wall at university lecturer Andy Seaman’s flat in Chaucer Road.
The 29-year-old was given a fright by his new eight-legged flatmate after moving to the street in January.
He said: “I started to notice it because the web got bigger and bigger and it began eating the other spiders around it.
“I managed to get it to come out of its tunnel and when it first ran out I jumped back about a metre.
The segestria florentina is better known as the tube-web spider or channel spider.
The first records of the spider in Britain date back to 1845.
The species is native to southern Europe but numbers in southern Britain have increased since the 1990s.
Its bite can cause severe pain for up to six hours.
Mothers often die when their offspring are born and are then eaten by the babies.
“Now I’m fascinated by it. I think it is interesting because it shows the climate is changing and British nature is also changing.”
After carrying out his own research, Mr Seaman discovered the spider has a vicious bite and can cause severe pain to humans.
He said: “Apparently it is a bit like a deep injection. It is not something I want to experiment with now I’ve seen its big fangs.
“Having said that, he is part of the fabric. He is right next to the front door and is a resident.”
Mr Seaman says his sighting is believed to be the first recorded in Canterbury after checking with the British Arachnological Society.
He said: “There is a map of sightings in Kent. Canterbury doesn’t have one yet.
“I was asked for my postcode so this could well be the first one.”
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