Fears Huge Mediterranean Spider Spreading To North Europe

A huge spider from the Mediterranean that now exists in London is apparently spreading into the rest of Europe.

The poisonous Nosferatu spider is one of the few spiders that can bite through human skin and ordinarily cannot survive in the colder UK or indeed northern European climate.

However, the spiders are taking up residence in homes instead of in the wild where they can survive the winter and live all year round.

They do not make a web except as a place to store their egg sacs, and hunt freely over the ground looking for insects that might come into spaces where they are living.

Credit: Naturkundemuseum Leipzig/Newsflash
The Nosferatu spider, which can penetrate the human skin with its bite, has recently been found in Saxony for the first time

News that they are now spreading in Europe as well comes after German man Enrico Ruge, 49, managed to track one in his cellar in the city of Leipzig, making it the first time spider has been reported in the German state of Saxony.

It was identified by the Natural History Museum of Leipzig after the man captured it and transported it there.

Enrico Ruge, a scientist from the University of Technology, Economics and Culture (HTWK), said he had been surprised to find such a spider in his basement living room, near the Schleussig district.

These eight-legged creatures, whose females can reach a span of six centimetres, have appeared in southwest Germany around 2005. From there they spread to the north and this is the first time the species is detected in Leipzig and Saxony, according to biologist Robert Klesser from the Natural History Museum. Spider experts believe that the species is probably now firmly established in the area.

As stated by the arachnologist, even though this species can penetrate the human skin, their poison is not as dangerous for humans as it is for insects. Attacks on humans usually occur when the spider feels threatened.


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Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency:  Newsflash

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