An elderly couple from Nottinghamshire are recovering at home after being bitten by what experts are calling ‘a cousin’ of Britain’s most venomous spider, the false widow.
Eddie and Bernice Kozlowski, who lived in Australia for 18 years, managed to catch the spider in their Gedling home on Sunday before it was sent to Nottingham Trent University to be analysed by experts today.
The couple have both suffered bites in the last three weeks, with Mr Kozlowski being bitten on his right arm. The two now have swelling and soreness and Mr Kozlowski says the pain after the bite was so severe he was unable to sleep.
The arachnid, believed to be a relative of the false widow (also known as steatoda bipunctata), is usually found in outbuildings but was captured by the pair down the side of their stairs.
There have been several reports of people being bitten by false widow spiders. Here's how to recognise them and what to do if they bite.Read the full story ›
A number of videos on YouTube appear to show the 'false widow' spider in action.
It was revealed today a mother in Northampton has escaped harm after she found a flesh-eating spider in her bed.
Donna Bradbury, who suffers from arachnophobia, spotted the poisonous false widow spider on her pillow, but managed to jump out of bed before being bitten.
- The spiders are usually coloured purple and black
- They feast on insects and sometimes other spiders
- Female 'false widows' lay up to 120 eggs at a time
One of the few spiders capable of biting humans, the false black widow, is "becoming more common and more widespread," according to an expert at the Natural History Museum.
John Tweddle of the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity said that "populations have rapidly spread" and they are now found in many parts of southern England.
He said the spread of the species - which is related to the infamous black widow but is far less venomous - is at least partly a response to a changing climate.
One builder from Essex, who reportedly disturbed a nest of false widows at a school, had to have his leg sliced open and the venom flushed out, the Daily Mail reports.
The Devon-based footballer Steve Harris also had to have an emergency operation to remove the poison after he was reportedly bitten on his side.
A mother in Northampton has escaped harm after she found a flesh-eating spider in her bed.Read the full story ›