Segestria florentina is one of the largest British spiders. At present, the only known site in Cornwall is Fowey from where it was recorded on several occasions in the 1980s. There are rumours of a population in the docks at Falmouth but I have looked for it there and not found it (but then I haven't found it in Fowey either). Segestria florentina lives in a silken tube in holes in walls, in cracks under window ledges, and other similar habitats. The mouth of the tube is surrounded by 'trip wires' of silk that alert the spider to the presence of prey.
     The species is extremely common in some localities in southern England, particularly near ports via which it was probably introduced. However,
Segestria florentina appears to be spreading rapidly.
Segestria florentina will probably be found in Falmouth, Penzance and other ports where it should be looked for on south facing walls. My students have christened this the 'James Bond' spider. Can you guess why?

Back to the Checklist

Fig. 1 (left): Segestria florentina at the entrance to its silken tube in a wooden fence of a house at The Beacon,  Exmouth, Devon.
Fig. 2 (above):
Segestria florentina in its night time posture with each of the six front legs resting on a silken 'trip wire' (photo taken with a flashgun (same locality as Fig. 1).
Fig. 3 (right): Detached male palp of
Segestria florentina.