The venomous arachnid spreading throughout Britain called the "false widow spider" is giving the entire country a case of the heebie-jeebies. The false widow spider (Steatoda nobilis) is a native of Spain's Canary Islands and is widely believed to have spread to Europe and the British Isles through shipments of bananas largely due to a warming climate. The largest false widow spider detected up to this point is no more than a half inch across. Both male and female spiders have marbled markings on their abdomens that some observers have called a skull mark.
Although some believe that it is one of the most deadly creatures known to man, Matthew Chatfield, owner of the Naturenet blog, comments, "For almost everyone, the effect of a spider bite in this country is an itchy lump for a day or so at worst. So actually, there's almost no evidence of Steatoda nobilis or any other U.K. spider causing anything more than temporary discomfort to anyone. Steatoda may well be the U.K.'s most dangerous spider, but that position is only slightly more odious than being the U.K.'s most dangerous kitten."