Rare spiders invade Tredworth home
IT'S the stuff of nightmares – spiders with green giant fangs who wait until its dark and then jump out on unsuspecting passers by.
But that's the terrifying scenario in one Tredworth street which has become home to a colony of 40 rare segestria florentinas.
Amy Miles, 25, discovered the creepy crawlies living in a wall next to her nan's house in Ducie Street.
She said: "I was outside and I saw these little black legs poking out of the wall.
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"I went and shone a torch in and saw this shiny spider. I panicked, I thought it might be poisonous."
After Amy managed to trap one of the creatures in a jar she contacted Cheltenham wildlife expert David Haig, who is the county spider recorder.
He confirmed it was no normal arachnid and identified it as a segestria florentina.
The species is not normally found so far in land and both David and Amy are at a loss as to how the colony came to be living in the wall.
Mr Haig now has one of the spiders in his care for testing.
He said they weren't dangerous but had been known to bite people.
"It would hurt but they wouldn't put you in hospital," he said.
"They live in a silken tube which they embed into brickwork and then when other creatures go past, they come out and grab them.
"They are usually seen around coastal areas and in ports like Bristol and London, where they arrive in ships."
"I'd happily let one crawl on me," he said, "But I wouldn't want to pinch it."
Mr Haig said the segestria florentina could be lurking in other areas too.
"They could well be elsewhere in Gloucester, they might have come from the docks," he said.
Although Amy admits she is terrified of the spiders she is determined to find out more about them.
She said: "I would like to know how on earth they got to Tredworth."
Anyone who spots the spiders should leave them alone as they pose no threat if undisturbed.
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