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Lace Webbed Spider Amaurobius similis

In Holland there are three species of funnel web spiders. They are all very common. In the south of Limburg and in Belgium there are two more species, but these are rare. Two funnel web spiders live in or near houses. They are often called Lace Webbed Spider or House Spiders. Actually there are two spiderfamilies, the species of which are referred to as house spiders: the funnel web spiders, which usually have ordinary legs and which are shiny and the cob-web spiders, which look bigger, because of their long legs and which are hairy and therefor not shiny at all. Mind you: the Hobo Spider, which bites lots of Americans, is a cob web spider, so don't kill shiny house spiders, for they won't bite you! Funnel web spiders build their web during the night. You can observe the web building easily, for the light of a strong torch will not make them stop constructing a web.

It is confusing, but in Britain this species and the next are both called the Lace Webbed Spider. Both species are similar, but usually it is possible to tell them apart. Generally Amaurobius similis is the bigger of the two, slightly lighter in colour and found inside houses regularly. Amaurobius fenestralis is often found on outside walls, but also on trees, especially under loose bark, where Amaurobius similis is very rare. Normally Amaurobius fenestralis has two or three v-shaped markings on the abdomen, where Amaurobius similis has four.

In the bottom picture a male. All other photographs are of females.