Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wolsey Spider - the friendly house spider

Dr Abe V Rotor

Tegenaria parietina is is sometimes known as the cardinal spider because of the legend that Cardinal Wolsey was terrified by this species at Hampton Court during the reign of Henry VIII. In fact Cardinal Wolsey was once the most trusted man of the king, being highly knowledgeable in managing the affairs of the kingdom, and that he was 20 years older which was ideal as the king's adviser.  But Wolsey got the displeasure of the king for the abuse of his power and was vanished. He died before serving punishment for his crime.

Females grow up to 20 mm, males up to 17 mm. Legs are approximately three times longer, although some specimens have legs as large as 7.5 cm with a span between front and rear legs of 14 cm. They are reddish brown. Females can live for up to eight years, while males die shortly after mating. These spiders live mostly in buildings or walls. They look rather similar to T ferruginea. 

Wolsey Spider is actually harmless, it is not poisonous and does not attack or show aggression.  Which makes it "friendly" to be in the house. When we find a Wolsey spider usually carrying an egg case, we simply catch her with a wide mouth bottle and release her where she does her trade - to kill and eat young cockroaches, flies and other insects. 

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