Unclear what to do with spider

Caitlyn Smith with the suspected false widow spider, held by her dad Stuart. Picture by Geoffrey Cousins
Caitlyn Smith with the suspected false widow spider, held by her dad Stuart. Picture by Geoffrey Cousins
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An Aghagallon man has trapped a spider he suspects may be dangerous, but has had difficulty finding anyone to identify it for him.

Stuart Smith is holding the spider captive in a lunchbox while he awaits confirmation whether or not it is one of the false widow spiders currently making the headlines.

He told the ‘MAIL’: “I’d my suspicions about the spider when I found it. It was with another spider who it had eaten a couple of legs off.”

He continued: “I put them both in a wee sandwich container. I’ve three children including a wee baby here. You don’t want to take any chances. All I want to know is if they’re the false widows and what I should do with them.”

Last week the ‘MAIL’ ran a story about another suspected false widow in Craigavon, a fact Stuart wasn’t aware of until after he made his discovery.

The ‘MAIL’ forwarded a picture of Stuart’s spider to the entomology unit at DARD.

They said: “Our expert has said that although it’s very difficult to identify an invertebrate accurately from a picture, this is not a False Widow spider. This may be a spider of the family Araneidae or Theridiidae. To give an accurate identification would require a thorough examination of a sample. If people are concerned about spiders, their first port of call should be their local council’s Environmental Health officers who will be able to advise further. Advice for anyone wary of spiders is to not disturb them.”

Stuart said he’d phoned Environmental Health who told him they don’t have anyone who deals with spiders.