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Dublin: 17°C Wednesday 6 July 2022

If you find one of these things... DON'T PANIC

False Widow Spiders are now well established in Ireland and do not pose much danger.

SPRING IS NOW here and with it comes the emergence of all things insect and arachnid.

Every year there are sightings of things that look a little bit out of place in the Irish countryside.

One reader sent TheJournal.ie a picture of this spider that they spotted at their home in Clondalkin over the weekend.

false widow spider The False Widow spider

This is a False Widow Spider, and if you are lucky (or unlucky enough, depending on how you look at it) you might see one of these this summer. The arachnids frequently cause panic due to their large size and unusual appearance, but there is no reason to be afraid.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Stephen McCormack, an entomologist and expert in spiders, said, “they are pretty common in Ireland now. They were imported with fruit and veg, particularly from Spain and the Canary Islands – I’ve found them in my house several times.”

They’re not uncommon.

While the spiders prefer a level of warmth, this does not necessarily drive them indoors, and they are capable of surviving outside.

McCormack went on to say, “if snakes start appearing, you can start worrying then. You are very fortunate over there in Ireland that you don’t have any poisonous stuff running around to bite you.”

People interested in a more dangerous species of spider should look a bit closer to home. The Raft Spider is native to Ireland and has the ability to bite people. However, they are generally only found in bog areas.

raft spider A Raft Spider Source: Wikicommons

According to McCormack, one of the best things to keep an eye out for at this time of year is bumblebees. They have the ability to keep their own bodies warm and so emerge earlier than other insects.

The activity of bumblebees is of particular interest to entomologists as they facilitate the reproduction of plants and crops. 

The National Biodiversity Data Centre operate a bumblebee tracking centre that uses the public’s help to roughly track the number and location of bees in Ireland.

Read: This footage of a warehouse spider invasion is some major nightmare fuel

Also: Look at this koala trying to ‘steal’ a Land Rover

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