Stings like a bee: the false wolf spider is coming to a place near you

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The false wolf spider (Zoropsis spinimana) is becoming more common in the Netherlands as temperatures rise, experts have said.

Sightings of the spider, so called because of its resemblance to the wolf spider, have more than doubled in the last year, from 225 to 500.

‘How many false wolf spiders really lurk in and around the house is unclear,’ spider expert Jinze Noordijk told the AD. ‘They keep to themselves. But they are extremely prolific so their number can be much higher. It’s obvious they’re here to stay.’

Most sightings have come from the south of the country but, Noordijk said, it has been seen all over the country, except, inexplicably, in Flevoland.

The spider is common in southern Europe but climate change has turned the Netherlands into an attractive location for spiders and dozens of insects. ‘At the EIS insect knowledge centre dozens of non native species are being reported every year,’ Noordijk said.

Fake wolf spiders, although shy, will be aggressive when approached. ‘Most spiders flee when you come close but a false wolf spider will attack. Its bite is a bit like the sting of a wasp.’ Noordijk said.

The annual national spider count, which starts this weekend, will show which spider is most common in the Netherlands. Last year that title went to the garden spider (Araneus diadematus)

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