Spot the Spider- how well do you know your species?

This autumn, you may notice an influx of spider species about your home. This is no coincidence- during the arrival of the autumn season, male spiders leave their webs and take to hunting for a mate. Female spiders adapted to living indoors stay in their webs and await the arrival of a male; once this happens, a male will stay in the web and mate repeatedly with the female over the course of a few weeks.

Famous arachnologist Norman Platnick once said ‘Wherever you sit as you read these lines, a spider is probably no more than a few yards away.’ Despite this, many of us know very little about the 8-legged residents with which we share our homes.

To combat this, scientists from the University of Gloucestershire and the Society of Biology have developed a simple spider app that enables the easy identification of species within our homes. The app provides photos and descriptions of the most 12 most frequently seen house spiders, featuring interesting facts and insights about the lives of spider species such as pholcidae, mouse spiders and more.

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Professor Adam Hart, of the University of Gloucestershire, says that

Many species of spider can take a wrong turn and end up in homes by mistake. These generally die unless they find their way back out as it is too warm and dry in our homes and there is no food available to them. A small number of spiders, however, have adapted to living indoors.

It is the belief of scientists at the University of Gloucestershire, that the public should therefore be able to learn more about these indoor species. In the past, the app has also been used to collect information for scientists about house spider sightings, using information voluntarily donated by the public through various surveys. This information has been used to learn more about spider mating behaviours, and strengthen the app further.

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To learn more about these indoor spider species, you can download the free app named ‘Spider in da House’ from Apple and Android stores now.

To learn more please visit:

https://www.societyofbiology.org/news/14-news/614-house-spider-app-launched

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-app-reviews/11101123/Spider-ID-app-Know-your-window-from-your-false-widow.html,

 or visit your app store now.

Photos: Steven Faulk , Geoff Oxford and G. Bradley

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