SOLVED: Experts identify 'carrot orange' spider with 'hairy legs' that was found in Blackfen (From News Shopper)
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SOLVED: Experts identify 'carrot orange' spider with 'hairy legs' that was found in Blackfen
THE mystery of the “carrot orange” spider with “hairy legs” that was found in Blackfen has been solved.
Both Stuart Hine, the Natural History Museum’s spider expert and Greg Hitchcock at the Kent Wildlife trust have identified the orange beast as the Araneus species – better known as the garden spider.
Mr Hine said: “Garden spiders are common in our gardens from April onwards but are overlooked as they are smaller and still growing.
“They are harmless and very infrequently implicated in bites - if handled you usually feel the sharp spines on their legs, but they are really not prone to biting.
“In autumn both sexes are mature and are at their largest and these very impressive females, that are swollen with eggs, become very obvious - particularly as they frequently make their webs over windows or doors.”
He added: “Soon she will lay her eggs in a silk sack and protect them for as long as she can, but as insect prey diminishes as winter sets in she succumbs and dies.
“The eggs hatch in the spring and these orphans become the surviving generation.”
Blackfen tattooist Alex Michael found the orange spider near Incredible Ink, in Westwood Lane on Monday evening.
But the tattooist says being bitten has made him more wary of spiders and he was stunned when he found this brightly-coloured spider a matter of weeks later.
The 37-year-old said: “It is unbelievable - I have never seen anything like it.
“It is bright carrot orange with hairy legs and it has the same markings as the false widow that bit me.”
Mr Michael says he was routinely checking his garden for false widows when he spotted the orange monster on the wall.
He said: “Since I have been bitten I’m out in the garden every single night with a torch and a spray can because I’m not getting bitten again.
“We were in the tattoo shop and I said let’s have a look in the alleyway.
“Half an hour later I just saw this orange thing sitting on the wall.
“I have been asking customers when they come in the shop but no one knows what it is. They can’t believe what it is.”
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