Dozens of cannibalistic spiders invade South Wales street as epidemic spreads

Dozens of cannibalistic fanged spiders have invaded a street in South Wales as the epidemic spreads.

The eight-legged insects are believed to be tube spiders – one of the largest types in the UK – and their bite is like a bee sting.

Their thick black bodies range from between 1.5cm to 2.2cm wide and their fangs shine menacingly green.

Tube spiders are one of the largest arachnids in the UK

Tube spiders are one of the largest arachnids in the UK

Mike Rance first spotted one when he was outside his friend’s house in Newport, South Wales, and neighbours pointed out clusters all down the street.

Mike tested out the arachnid’s appetite, but found it was a particularly fussy eater.

Their thick black bodies range from between 1.5cm to 2.2cm wide

Their thick black bodies range from between 1.5cm to 2.2cm wide

Mike, 41 from Cwmbran, said: “I spotted this one on the wall and shined a light on to it and could see its fangs.

“It was devouring another smaller spider – they’re proper little cannibals.

“We tried to fee it a woodlouse but it wasn’t interested.

“We then tried a normal sized spider but it didn’t want to know.

“They only seemed to want to eat smaller ones, I guess they must be easier prey.”

A bite from a tube spider can last for up to six hours

A bite from a tube spider can last for up to six hours

After capturing one spider, he passed it on to a vet friend with a special interest in spiders as she owns 32 tarantulas herself.

She confirmed that they are in fact tube spiders, whose painful bites can last for up to six hours.

He said: “There were about seven on the back of my mate’s house when we first looked.

“One of the neighbours came out and asked if we were looking at the spiders and showed us a cluster of about 30 or 40 in his back garden then showed us one of a similar size in the front yard.”

“He then pointed out houses all over the street that said they had them – they’re all over the place.

“They’re quite amazing to watch.”

Mike, 41 from Cwmbran, said: "It was devouring another smaller spider – they're proper little cannibals.

Mike, 41 from Cwmbran, said: “It was devouring another smaller spider – they’re proper little cannibals.

Both sexes of tube spiders look similar and live on walls, fences, and the bark of trees.

Originally from southern Europe, adults can be found from June to November and create a tube-shaped web with trip-lines radiating out.