If you are living in the UK you may have seen the sensationalism in media surrounding these so called Vampire Spiders or Dracula Spiders.
There are several reports of people being bitten, with one woman claiming that she was bitten on the forehead!
What species are Vampire Spiders?
From what I can gather, these “blood thirsty” spiders are actually Segestria Florentina, a type of tube web or cellar spider, originating from the Mediterranean which were brought onto British shores around the 1800’s.
The Segestria Florentina, which is the biggest of the European tube web spiders, is still only around 2cm when fully grown.
Are Vampire Spiders dangerous?
Contrary to what the media will have you believe, much like the False Widow, these spiders are not at all dangerous.
These spiders are not vicious and will certainly not go out of their way to bite people. If you were to accidentally disturb a spider and get bitten, while reportedly quite painful and comparable to a bee sting, the effect of the venom should wear off after a few hours.
Where do Vampire Spiders live?
They can be found throughout the south of England and being a tube web spider, Vampire Spiders can be found living inside cracks in walls and buildings.
They create a tube like web which, similar to a trapdoor spider, they will use as a trap for their prey.
They will sit in the entrance of their home and wait for their prey to trigger their web before pouncing on it to pull it inside to consume. These spiders tend to hunt at night and will prey upon cockroaches, moths and other nocturnal insects.