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Black house spider

Black house spider Identification:
Bite: Mild to severe, nausea, sweating, local pain, swelling and possible infection.
Habitat: Holes, rocks, buildings.
Notes: These spiders are timid and will only come out in the open for food. They will not really bite.

This spider was found in the bathroom and on first inspection it looked dangerous. Jet black colour for spiders make me nervous, and if it wasn't for the general shape, number of legs and size -- I would have thought it was a beetle. But it was a spider.

Having got up close to a number of spiders now, I was taking no chances with this one, but wanted to get close for a good picture. A precautionary test with the flash didn't bother it, so I progressively got closer and closer until I was lying on the floor infront of it at a distance of 20 cm. Now, after a few minutes of flashing, you average white tail would get bored of the attention and run off, but this one just sat there. For a while we thought it was dead!

This inactivity is good in a spider photographer. Reading up on them now, I see that Black house spiders are very timid, and only venture out of their web for food. There was no web around him, so I couldn't see what size or shape it was. Later on in the evening, he wandered around the bathroom and got so close to the toilet that Allie wasn't taking too many risks and left him to wander.

The photo isn't all that great, so I took another one from a different angle. You cannot see the legs quite as well, but it's more in focus.

All in all, a scary looking spider, but quite harmless and very much scared of us. I hope I didn't give him nightmares with the camera!

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Last Updated: 27 March 2003. Richard Ogley

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