There are over 670 species of spider in the UK. Over half of these are tiny money spider species, some of which are only 1mm long.

Some people fear spiders but they really don’t want to hurt you! All spiders have fangs containing small amounts of venom, which they use to subdue their small insect prey. They will bite if they feel threatened but very few species in the UK have a bite powerful enough to penetrate human skin and the venom is in such small quantities that it won’t cause any serious harm. Most spider bite scare stories in the media are usually caused by secondary infections from not keeping the wound clean. If you take a bit of time to learn more about spiders, you’ll realise that they have fascinating lives. Spiders are found in every terrestrial habitat in the UK and they are very useful as they provide us with free pest control by feeding on a number of agricultural and household pests.

  • spider
  • Araniella sp and egg sac
  • Close up of a spider
  • Agelena labyrinthica egg-sac chamber
  • raft spider

Spiders and Other Arachnids

There are 34 families of spider in the UK. Even though all spiders make silk, not all of them make webs so if you see a spider on a web, it’s a useful identification feature. Spider identification usually requires a great deal of practice as there are so many species. Some of the larger and more colourful species can be identified easily in the field but some of the tiny money spider species require a lot more practice and patience as you can only identify them under the microscope.

Spider Identification Courses

Each Eco-Skills course is part of a learning framework.. You can see the course level descriptions here

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Spider Identification Resources:

Find out about the wonderful world of spiders and other arachnids or book onto a Spider Identification course by following the clicking the button above. Our experts in Spider Identification can guide you through the basics of identifying spiders in the field, as well as more advanced techniques to identify species using a microscope.

FSC Spider Identification Chart Spiders have eight legs… and many of them spin webs to catch their prey… but how much more do you know about these fascinating, widespread but much maligned creatures? There are around 650 species in Britain.

FSC AIDGAP Key to the Spider Families of the British Isles covers all 34 families of spiders known to occur in Britain