This page is for non-native spiders, that are not generally established in the UK, and are only found in the UK as accidental imports or recent introductions. Some are specimens from the exotic pet trade.

5mm Palp-Footed Spider (Palpimanus cf gibbulus) that arrived in the UK as an accidental import amidst imported bark in early 2022. Photographed 11/06/2022

Common Palp-Footed Spider / Spider Hunting Spider / Velvet Ground-Dwelling Spider  (Palpimanus gibbulus)
The Palpimanidae family are usually referred to as the Palp-Footed Spiders. Within that family is the Palpimanus genus, that consists of 35 species found across the world. Palpimanus sp. are usually considered as uncommon in most countries where they are found. They can be distinguished from other spiders by their large front legs. In Europe there are six very similar species found across the Mediterranean regions, that need close examination of the genitalia to identify to species level. 

Female Palpimanus gibbulus reach around 6mm in length, whilst the visually identical males reach around 5mm. The overall appearance of the Palp-Footed Spider may resemble a Jumping Spider at a quick glance, but they lack the large front-facing eyes always found on Jumping Spiders. Palpimanus gibbulus is found throughout the Mediterranean region, north Africa and parts of Asia. Palpimanus gibbulus is typically encountered in dry, warm areas with low vegetation, and on low plants in pine forests. There are no Palpimanus species established anywhere in the UK though.

Palp-Footed Spiders are nocturnal hunters that specialise in hunting other spiders. During the day they often stay hidden away under rocks, leaf litter or loose bark on fallen trees, and where found they can often be seen in small groups. Although they may build a silken retreat this spider does not build a web for hunting. At night the Palp-Footed Spider actively seeks out other species of spider, even in their own webs. Their approach is very slow and they are often able to creep up upon their prey undetected, before launching an attack. Their powerful front legs are equipped with very sticky hairs, which enable the spider to grasp hold of other spiders and subdue them using their strength and venomous bite. Palp-Footed Spiders are able to tackle other spiders far bigger than themselves and often get bitten in the process. However the secret to the success of the Palp-Footed Spider is its unusually thick outer cuticle, or skin, that gives their exoskeleton an armour that's very difficult for many other spiders to penetrate with their fangs. In 2011 the New Scientist wrote an article on Palpimanus gibbulus titled "The hardest spider in the world".

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5

5mm Palp-Footed Spider (Palpimanus cf gibbulus) that arrived in the UK as an accidental import amidst imported bark in 2022.

Although impossible to identify to species level purely from these photos most imported bark to the UK originates from either Spain or Portugal, where Palpimanus gibbulus is the only established Palpimanus species in both countries.

Palpimanidae are one of the 23 families of spider known to communicate through stridulation. Using parts of the spider's body to rub against other body-parts can produce audible sounds that are usually used to signal distress, warnings or to serve as part of the spiders courting rituals. In the case of Palpimanidae it is the use of the palps rubbed against their body that produce these tiny audible signals, that are just about audible to human hearing. A study of Palpimanus spiders in 2018 showed that stridulation is used to communicate with other Palpimanus in order to reduce the risk cannibalism when specimens of the same species come in contact with each other. 

LINK 1    LINK 2  

* Grateful thanks to Gemma Madelaine for sending this spider to me. *

5mm Palp-Footed Spider (Palpimanus cf gibbulus) that arrived in the UK as an accidental import amidst imported bark in 2022.

Looking rather malnourished, this 5mm Palp-Footed Spider (Palpimanus cf gibbulus) arrived in the UK as an accidental import amidst imported bark in 2022.

In captivity I have found this spider to be a very fussy eater. After refusing meals for some time I eventually caught a juvenile Buzzing Spider, Anyphaena sp, from my garden. The Anyphaena sp. had to pushed in the face of the Palp-Footed Spider for five minutes before finally triggering a feeding response. I tried feeding the Palpimanus gibbulus with other invertebrates, including mealworms and flies, but the Palpimanus gibbulus was only interested in eating other spiders. During its time in my care it readily fed on young Tegenaria sp., young Steatoda sp. and young Pardosa sp.

6mm Palp-Footed Spider (Palpimanus cf gibbulus), photographed 25th April 2023.

After spending nearly a year in my care this Palp-Footed Spider had grown from 5mm to 6mm in body-length. During that time it only ate about 6 times. This species is very slow moving and lives a largely sedentary lifestyle. This enables it to conserve energy so it does not need to feed very often. When Palp-footed Spiders walk they do so extremely slowly, usually with their front legs held out in front of them above the surface.

4.5mm female Rock Weaver (Pandava laminata) found in a garden centre in Uxbridge, August 2021.

Asian Limestone Spider / Rock Weaver (Pandava laminata, previously Amaurobius laminatus)

Pandava laminata is another non-native species that has recently been introduced to Europe and the UK from tropical regions of East Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia, Philippines, southern China, Okinawa, New Guinea and French Polynesia. The first sightings in the UK are believed to have been in 2020, from a garden centre in Buckinghamshire. This ground dwelling spider makes a lace web similar to Amaurobius species and usually arrives to the UK and Europe as an accidental import amidst oriental orchids. It builds its web between the exposed roots of the plants and the lowest leaves and shoots and stays hidden away amidst the roots. This nocturnal species prefers warm dry habitats and has been recorded in Europe inside greenhouses, hothouses and horticultural centres stocking orchids and other tropical plants. Females usually grow to a body-length of around 5.4 - 7mm, and males reach 5.5 - 5.8mm. Pandava laminata has been placed in the Titanoecidae family of Rock Weaver spiders. In Germany it is referred to as the "Kalksteinspinne" the Limestone spider or  "Asiatische Kalkstein spinnen" the Asian Limestone Spider. This spider produces a pale white egg-sac which it attaches to its web and covers in debris to afford it some disguise and protection.

The first sighting and identification of this species in Europe was by Jäger in 2008, from the Cologne Zoo in Germany. Jäger noted that this spider species is easily distinguished from the other titanoecid spiders in Europe by the lack of any spots on the opisthosoma and a visible ring around the spinnerets.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5    LINK 6

4.5mm female Rock Weaver (Pandava laminata) found in a garden centre in Uxbridge, August 2021.

*  I would like to give huge thanks to Gen Popovici for sending me this specimen to photograph and add to my website.  *

9mm Sub-adult Desert Round-headed Spider found amidst imported cork bought from Amazon, November 2021.

Desert Round-headed Spider  /  Yellow-spotted Spider  /  Star-web Spider -  (Uroctea durandi)

Uroctea durandi is a non-native species from the Oecobiidae family of Wall Spiders / Disc-Web Spiders, and is native to north Africa and the Mediterranean. Whilst not established anywhere in the UK Uroctea durandi turns up here quite regularly amidst imported bark and cork, intended for the exotic pet trade. Most imports of cork and bark to the UK arrive from Spain or Portugal, where Uroctea durandi is the only Uroctea species found. Besides the term Desert Round-headed Spider, this spider is also known by various other common names in different countries, including the Yellow-spotted Spider, the Tent Spider and the Star-web Spider.

Sub-adults are light brown / orange with 5 light spots on their grey / brown abdomen. These spots are usually pale yellow but can vary from white to bright yellow. Specimens found indoors are often dehydrated and sometimes not all of the 5 spots may be visible on their shrivelled abdomen. The spider darkens as it ages and mature specimens are dark brown or black with a completely black abdomen exhibiting 5 prominent spots. Females grow to around 15mm in length, whilst the similar looking males reach only 6-10mm.

In their native countries Uroctea durandi are usually found in hot, dry areas, especially heathlands, where they live under tree bark and rocks. They hide under a distinctive small, star-shaped, tent-web, of around 4cm in diameter These tent-webs have many entrances and around 10-12 signally threads radiating from the corners. Once the threads are tripped the spider dashes out to trap its prey. The prey is not immediately grabbed or bitten but the spider instead rapidly circles its prey whilst wrapping it in silken threads., wagging its posterior from side to side as it does so. The remains of their prey can often be found scattered on the upper outside surface of their web. In the wild the Desert Round-headed Spider often feeds on ants, however they have been known to specialise on whatever prey is available locally, including millipedes. Male Uroctea durandi build a special web when the times comes to copulate with the female.

Uroctea durandi are sometimes also found in or on buildings where they have been known to build their webs on walls. The Oecobiidae family name actually comes from "Oeco biidae", which very roughly translates to "those who are house-living". 

This species is not currently established anywhere in the UK. It's often reported that Uroctea durandi would be unlikely to survive anywhere outdoors in Britain, however the winters in some of the countries where it is considered native or naturalised, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, can be just as harsh as those in the UK so this species may have the potential to eventually become established here. Where accidentally imported they could easily join other non-native species, including Ulborus plumipes, that have colonised conservatories, greenhouses and hothouses throughout the UK. In their native countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, these spiders remain active during the winter months as long as the temperatures remain above freezing. As the temperatures drop the spider enters a state of complete torpor until warmer weather arrives. The bite of the Desert Round-headed Spider is not considered to be harmful or significant to humans.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5    LINK 6    LINK 7    LINK 8    LINK 9

*  I would like to give huge thanks to Amanda Smallwood and her son for allowing me to photograph this specimen and add it to my website.  *

Uroctea durandi was found at Kew gardens, back in 2002, after arriving amidst imported oak cork bark from Portugal - LINK

Here are some more recent examples of this species being found in the UK as an accidental stowaway amidst imported cork / bark:  

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5

9mm Sub-adult Desert Round-headed Spider found amidst imported cork bought from Amazon, November 2021.

As you can see from this image the 40mm star-shaped tent-web of Uroctea sp. is quite distinctive to this genus, as is their hunting behaviour.

6mm Jumping Spider, Thyenula cf juvenca, photographed in captivity thanks to Lucy Odette Spink, 8th May 2022

Jumping spider  -  Thyenula juvenca
Thyenula is a genus of Jumping Spider, currently containing 24 recognised species, all of which come from Africa. The specimen above was imported to the UK by The Spider Shop from South Africa. From the little information I have been able to find on Thyenula juvenca, it would appear that whilst adults are bright green, juveniles can be green, yellow or orange in colour.
LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3

Green seems to be a fairly uncommon colour amongst Jumping Spiders. Two other species of green Jumping Spider I have found online are both pale green, long-legged species of Jumping Spider. The first is Lyssomanes viridis, the Magnolia Green Jumper, which is a small species of Jumping Spider found in the USA and Mexico. Females usually reach around 7-8mm and the males reach 5-6mm. The second is the much larger Green Jumping Spider, Mopsus mormon, which is native to Australia and New Guinea, and grows to 15-18mm in length. 

14mm male Phidippus regius, that arrived as an accidental stowaway to the UK, at an import warehouse in Essex, 12th April 2022.

Regal Jumping Spider   (Phidippus regius)
Phidippus are some of the largest species of Jumping Spiders in the world, and certainly the largest found in the USA,. AS of 2021 there are 76 recognised species of Phidippus found across the world, and the majority of those can be found in Northern America & Mexico. The Regal Jumping Spider is one of theses large and impressive spiders, with males reaching a body-length of 6 - 18mm, with 12mm being the average. The females are even larger, reaching an impressive 7 - 22mm, with 15mm being the average. These beautiful spiders are usually confined to southern, and south-eastern, states in the U.S.A., as well as the Greater Antilles, and the Bahamas. In the USA  Phidippus regius are most common around the Florida area. Sadly they are not established anywhere in the UK.

Mature males are black and white in colour, with a large, white, triangular spot in the middle of their abdomen, and usually two small white dots at the posterior end. The chelicerae, or fang cases, are large, with a bright metallic green / blue colouration. The heavily fringed front legs of the male grow at a disproportionate rate as the spider matures. Mature males have large and powerful front legs, giving the spider a slight resemblance to a miniature gorilla.

The female's fang cases are not as large and bulbous as the males. The chelicerae still have an iridescent sheen to them, although they are typically metallic pink / violet in colour. Occasionally they can be green, like the males, but even then they usually have some degree of pink colouration on them too. The front legs are long but not as large, or as tufted, as the males. There are two closely related species to Phidippus regius, that can be found in the same areas, Phidippus audax, and Phidippus otiosus, and both are similar in appearance. Phidippus regius often vary in appearance due to locality, but there is still variation between specimens found in the same area. Female specimens from the Bahamas are often found as a largely white morph.  LINK

In the wild the Regal Jumping Spider likes high temperatures, lots of light and fairly high humidity. In their native countries they are frequently found around open fields, agricultural land and light woodland. Regal Jumping Spiders are also often found around human habitation, where they can be seen hunting their invertebrate prey on trees, fences or walls of buildings. At night they hide away in a silken retreat. The female regularly uses loose tree bark, or gaps behind the wood of barns, and other wooden buildings, to lay their eggs. The lifespan of the Regal Jumping Spider is usually 1 - 2 years, but some specimens have been known to live for 3 years.

These photos of a large male specimen were taken after the spider turned up, as an accidental stowaway, at an import warehouse in Essex. Knowing the country of origin as the USA, and due the spider's large size and metallic chelicerae, this specimen was easy to identify as Phidippus species. Once taken into captivity it could be confirmed as the Regal Jumping Spider, Phidippus regius. This male Regal Jumping Spider was one moult away from reaching maturity. Once mature it went on to successfully breed in captivity with a female Phidippus regius.

Phidippus sp. are popular in the exotic pet-trade, due their impressive size, beautiful colours and calm temperament. These spiders are generally very reluctant to bite humans, but due to their large size species such as Phidippus regius can give a mildly painful bite if badly handled. The bite causes no real harm to humans though. Although initially painful, the pain is caused mainly by the large fangs, rather than the venom of the spider, and any pain and itchiness fades within a day or two.

Jumping Spiders usually average about 8 - 10 moults as they grow to maturity. There is an excellent post on Facebook showing the various stages of the Regal Jumping Spider - LINK

Regal Jumping Spider info:  LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4

14mm male Phidippus regius, that arrived as an accidental stowaway to the UK, at an import warehouse in Essex, 12th April 2022.

14mm male Phidippus regius, that arrived as an accidental stowaway to the UK, at an import warehouse in Essex, 12th April 2022.

Bites from Phidippus species of Jumping Spider
Bites to humans from all Salticidae species are not considered to be medically insignificant, and Salticidae are usually referred to as being harmless to humans. In some countries, such as Cyprus, I have seen written warnings advising that native species, such as the Pantropical Jumping Spider, Plexippus paykulli, may bite, and bites can be extremely itchy. Curiosity lead me to wonder whether anyone had any experience of bites from Salticidae, and whether anyone had ever experienced a more severe reaction to a bite from any species of  Salticidae. I decided the best place to seek for answers would be in a group of Salticidae keepers. Many Salticidae keepers regularly handle their pet spiders and I felt they would be more likely to experience defensive behaviour than people who only come into occasional contact with wild specimens. I also felt that if I asked in a group of Salticidae keepers then those that had been bitten would know exactly what species they were bitten by. I was hoping to avoid receiving stories of bites experienced by people bitten during the night by unknown sources, that the victims had then assumed were spider bites. 

On 26th March 2023 I asked the following questions in a Salticidae keepers group on Facebook: Has anyone ever been bitten by a Salticidae, and if so what was the reaction to the bite? Has anyone ever experienced a more severe reaction to any bites from Salticidae? The post ended up with over 200 likes and 117 comments.  -  LINK

I'm grateful to all those who took the time to reply. The vast majority of keepers had never experienced any defensive behaviour from Salticidae species. The replies from people who had been bitten indicated that bites usually resulted in minor to no pain, sometimes accompanied by minor redness and irritation, typically lasting for a few hours. I also received the following accounts from other bite victims from Phidippus audax and Phidippus regius:

1) "The bite felt like a bee sting, and my hand swelled as if bitten by a mosquito." 
2) "The bite stung and was accompanied by a pulsing sensation for a few hours. I had two red bumps for a very long time. One week later, and for one full day, it started to hurt again. It was pulsating and very itchy at the same time."
3) "I had burning pain radiating in my hand, and nerve pain, for a for few hours. I do suffer with Fibromyalgia, so most things can hurt me more than usual. I was honestly surprised how bad the pain was. I also experienced slight redness on my hand."
4) "The bite hurt pretty good, and was tender and sore for about 4 hours."
5) "The bite was red, swollen and itchy."
6) "The bite definitely stung, and then was itchy for a week. I have a scar too."
7) "I had a bad reaction to a bite. My hand was swollen, with itchy bumps, and caused the lymph nodes in my arm to swell. Lasted for 6 weeks."
8) "I was bitten by one of my jumpers, and I had to use my EpiPen. I went into mild anaphylaxis. The surrounding tissue raised, I got hives, and the area burned like no other. I am highly allergic to bee venom, and spider bites react just the same."
9) "18 months ago I was bitten several times in same area by a Phidippus regius. I still have a bit of rash left."

Conclusions - Phidippus are some of the largest species of Jumping Spider to be found, and as such a bite from these species is more likely to see the bite victim experiencing a reaction from the bite, than they might from other smaller species of Salticidae. With that said, very few people that were bitten experienced a reaction beyond moderate, sort-term pain, itchiness and mild redness or swelling to the bite area. There were only a few accounts of fairly severe reactions, and these accounts came mainly from people who had existing medical conditions, or who were already known to be allergic to the venom of bees & other invertebrates. It's important to keep things in perspective with these bite accounts. In a Facebook group of over 37,000 members, I received accounts from a tiny percentage of the members that had actually experienced any defensive bites from their captive Salticidae. Most members were keen to point out that they kept many Salticidae, and handled them daily, and none had ever bitten them.

17mm adult female Regal Jumping Spider (Phidippus regius Apalachicola)

Apalachicola is one city in Florida, USA., where Regal Jumping Spiders can be found. Specimens in the exotic pet trade, that were originally collected from this area, or subsequent specimens that have since descended from them, are sometimes referred to as Phidippus regius Apalachicola. This full name is used to purely to clarify the regional variation, or locale, of this Phidippus regius, Regal Jumping Spider. They are not officially classed as a sub-species but are still just Phidippus regius.

17mm adult female Regal Jumping Spider (Phidippus regius - Apalachicola, Florida)

Occasionally genetic mutations can arise, which lead to the front eyes of a Jumping Spider being partially fused together at birth. Future moults sometimes separate the eyes, whilst on rare occasions the eyes become completely fused together. Here's some incredible photos of one such Phidippus regius specimen:  LINK   LINK 2

17mm adult female Regal Jumping Spider (Phidippus regius Apalachicola, Florida)

10mm sub-adult female Regal Jumping Spider (Phidippus regius Jamaican Blue)

This sub-adult female Regal Jumping Spider is another variation of the species, from the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica. Regal Jumping Spiders of this locale are sometimes referred to as Phidippus Regius Rastafari or Phidippus Regius Rastafari Blue. As with other Regal Jumping Spiders the juveniles are initially black, with white markings, but by the third instar some females will start to show some degree of colouration.

9mm sub-adult female Regal Jumping Spider, Phidippus regius, from Florida, USA.

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)
Bold Jumping Spider  -  (Phidippus audax)

The Bold Jumping Spider is another large and very beautiful Phidippus species of Jumping Spider from the USA. Adult males range in size from 6-18mm, with 12mm being the average.
Both males and females look very similar to each other. Phidippus audax is very similar in size and appearance to the Regal Jumping Spider, Phidippus regius. But whereas Phidippus regius is strictly a southern species in the USA, Phidippus audax is the most common and widespread Phidippus species in America, and can be found across the USA, as well as being found in Canada. Whilst there are some identifying features to help distinguish between the two species as juveniles and sub-adults, once they reach maturity the males can be difficult to distinguish, especially as both species can exhibit a great deal of variation.  LINK  

Adults of both male and female Bold Jumping Spider, Phidippus audax, are typically black and white in colour, with bright metallic blue / green chelicerae, very similar to the male Phidippus regius. Adult female Phidippus regius are typically more distinct though, and are usually lighter in shade, with brown colouration, often with a tan coloured face. Adult female Phidippus regius also usually have bright pink / purple colouration to their chelicerae, at least to some degree, which distinguishes them from both the male Regal Jumping Spiders, and from both sexes of the Bold Jumping Spider.

Juveniles are often black and orange but by the time they reach maturity both sexes are typically black and white. Bold Jumping Spiders can be found in a variety of habitats including grasslands, open woodlands and agricultural land, but are often found around human habitation. In the wild the Bold Jumping Spider usually takes around 9 months to reach maturity. In the spring the Bold Jumping Spider is often the first species of salticidae to be seen. Mature males will seek out females to mate with by late spring, or early summer, and will often mate with several different females.

Bold Jumping Spider info:  LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

On 21st March 2023 I was given the opportunity to rescue and rehome this large Jumping Spider, that had arrived in the UK as an accidental stowaway, hidden on an imported school bus from Texas, USA. Once collected the spider could be identified as a Bold Jumping Spider, Phidippus audax. This spider had been living on the bus for about a year, since it was imported into the UK. The owners of the bus had seen it regularly making an appearance, but it managed to evade being captured for a year. - LINK
These photos of this Bold Jumping Spider proved to be my most popular post ever on Facebook. The post in the British Spider ID Group had received 139 comments within 24hrs, and over 896 likes, before the admin of the group turned the comments off. - LINK

With both Phidippus regius and Phidippus audax being so similar in appearance I had to seek advice to be sure of the identity of this specimen to species level. It's easy to distinguish between adult female Phidippus regius as they tend to be lighter brown in colour, and usually have pink / purple chelicerae. The male Phidippus regius are difficult to distinguish from Phidippus audax as both male and female Phidippus audax are black and white in colour, with blue / green chelicerae. On this specimen the presence of iridescent scales, and matt black patches on the abdomen, which can only be seen when zoomed in on the full size photo, helped to identify this Phidippus species as Phidippus audax. The two white spots at the rear of the abdomen tend to be more linear with Phidippus audax and more oval with Phidippus regius. Geographic location also helps to identify this specimen as Phidippus regius is not found in Texas either.

On 12th April 2023 I was contacted by the owners of the imported America bus again and told that they had just sighted a second, larger, Bold Jumping Spider on the bus. They had also seen another smaller Jumping Spider on the bus, but it's not known what species this was for sure. Unfortunately when I checked the bus later that day the spiders had gone into hiding and could not be found.

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

12mm Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)

48mm Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula, which I kept in captivity until it could be rehomed.

Mexican Red Knee Tarantula   (Brachypelma smithi)

Because of its large size, bright colours and usually docile nature, this species of tarantula is one of the most popular spiders in the pet trade. Females have been known to live for 25-30 years, whilst males usually only live for 3-6 years. The bite of this spider is not considered dangerous to humans but could be quite unpleasant. This is due to the size of the large fangs, rather than the venom of the spider, which has very little effect on humans. The fangs of new world tarantulas are not their only form of defence though. The abdomen of a new world tarantulas, including that of the Mexican Red Knee Tarantula, is covered in urticating hairs, which the spider will flick with its back legs in the direction of anyone it considers to be a threat. These barbed bristles can embed themselves in the eyes of humans, or other animals, causing great irritation and discomfort. Exposure to these hairs can cause intense inflammatory reactions if they reach your eyes or respiratory system. Females can have a body-length of up to 60mm, whilst the smaller males can still reach 50mm. The leg-span can reach an impressive 140mm. Whilst the males usually have slightly shorter bodies, they tend to have longer legs than the female. Brachypelma smithi Is very similar in appearance to the other species of Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula, Brachypelma hamorii, which is also found in Mexico. However, there is some dispute whether both Brachypelma smithi and Brachypelma hamorii could actually be the same species. 

LINK 1   LINK 2    LINK 3