I heard a wasp buzzing rigorously and when I looked at it, it was caught in a spider web. The spider was on top of the wasp. After some time, they become silent. When I exhaled gently on them, spider moved but wasp did not. Later, the wasp was dead. The spider was obviously smaller than the wasp, yet it emerged victorious.

I attached a photo of the spider. While I am not sure whether this is the one killing the wasp, this certainly lives around the event site. Low quality photo of the spider

It should be around 1 cm in body length, excluding the legs. It is situated in UK.

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    $\begingroup$ If the wasp gets trapped in the web, then the advantage goes to the spider - it’s not a direct conflict... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 9, 2019 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ Can you get a clearer picture? Or perhaps you can pick it out from something like this: spiderid.com/locations/united-kingdom $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Aug 9, 2019 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


Hanging upside-down in a web suggests one of several groups, but in a building structure, and in what appears to be a messy, tangled web, I think we can safely put this one down as a member of the 'cobweb spiders' - the Theridiidae. This group includes the infamous Black Widows, and some are known to successfully take relatively large and dangerous prey. So, your particular spider has an obvious clue - the somewhat flattened dark abdomen with a large, light-colored patch in the middle of it. The shape suggests Steatoda, and there is only one spider that this could be: Steatoda nobilis, one of several spiders that frequently get called "False Widows". Here are two links and a representative photo: https://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/steatoda-nobilis https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/119917

enter image description here

Oh, I should add that despite the breathless hype the tabloids like to get up to, these spiders are known to be pretty harmless to people. On rare occasions, a bite (which is not easy to get from these shy spiders) may produce symptoms like a mild Widow bite, but the discomfort seems to pass within a day or so.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much. Even though I couldn't photographed it well enough to show the pattern on its stomach (or whatever it is called for an arachnid), it is obviously this one. $\endgroup$
    – ck1987pd
    Aug 24, 2019 at 11:47

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