Monday 14 August 1995 (Snippet from the Daily
Beauty and some not so lovely beasties
invade tropical Britain
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Spiders:A black and brown spider, Steatoda noblis,
that has repeatedly over the past century been introduced
from the Canary Islands with bananas is likely to thrive
in these warmer conditions, said Ian Burgess, deputy
director of the Medical Entomology Centre in Cambridge.
"Generally speaking they are only found around
buildings where they can stay relatively warm in the
winter." But the spider has bred successfully in
Britain in recent years.
Another newcomer that is spreading is the Wasp Spider,
Argiope bruennichi, so named for its yellow stripes. The
creature has become established along the coast from
Dorset to Sussex, after moving in from the south of
France, said Paul Hillyard, the NHM's spider expert.
"They are quite a nice addition to our fauna,"
Scorpions: The southern European scorpion, Euscorpius
flavicaudis, probably arrived in imported food and is now
making a home in southern England. British colonies occur
in the most unlikely places, ranging from Ongar
Underground station to Pinner, Colchester, Harwich,
greenhouses across north London and Sheerness in Kent,
where there is a colony of 1,000.
The warmer the weather, the more males seek sex and the
more offspring that survive. The brown-yellow creature
grows to about one inch, but it is unlikely to deliver
much of a sting, said Mr Burgess. "It is a delicate,
fragile little beastie."