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Any European Spider experts out there?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I feel so silly, moving to the countryside and posting about this, but there is something strange in my hay barn. I was showing my brother round yesterday and just by the door there is a HUGE funnel shaped web. Nothing in it, but I could not imagine what size the creature who made it must be. It is clearly a funnel, anchored to the ceiling and floor with long strong filaments and hte web itself is about twelve inches long and at least eight in diameter. It is woven very strongly in a sort of mesh. But I did not think we had funnel spiders in Europe and the only ones I have heard of are very poisonous and live in Australia. I don't want to go online as I (silly again) do not want to be confronted with a load of nasty pix. I really hate the things and can only just deal with the ones in the kitchen. Anyone got any ideas? Without pix, please!
post #2 of 7
I can't help you with what it is, but I just wanted to say that I hate the buggers too! I'm terrified of them.
post #3 of 7
The large insect book I have is of North American Insects.
This is what is says about funnel spiders: they classify them as a beneficial insect. Funnel spiders also include "grass spiders". It says that the webs are produced in tall grass, dense shrubbery and other sites-I guess your situation is under "other sites". Observed in late summer and fall. One end of the tunnel the spider retreats emerging to capture prey that distrib the web. Maybe you could kill a fly and toss it in to see if the spider makes an appearance!!!
post #4 of 7
can you take a picture of it?
post #5 of 7
I google it for you and PMed the info I took the pictures out
post #6 of 7
It could be a Hobo-spider. They build funnel-shaped web and exist in Europe as far north as southern Scandinavia. I don't know how common they are but they are poisonous. You will not die from a bite but it would hurt and you might need medical treatment.
I am not a spider expert, you just made me curious since I live in Europe so I searched the web.
Since you don't want pictures I don't send the link but for those who is curious Wikipedia is good.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone _ I know I am being a total wimp and I must learn to deal with these things if I am to live in the countryside! My brother is staying with me for a few days and he and I have been daring each other to go get a picture! I gather from replies and PMs (thank you all) that most funnel spiders are not poisonous, so maybe I should let Wellington loose on it - he killed and ate a large black spider in the kitchen last night!
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