Forget the Spiderwick Chronicles or cult superhero Spiderman.
Northumberland Wildlife Trust is calling on all spider-lovers in the area to be on the look out for big arachnids in their homes this autumn.
Now that the central heating is being cranked up and fires are being lit it always seems to send the long-legged beauties running out from underneath the sofa.
So instead of being amazed at their size, the wildlife charity would like people to collect them as part of a huge ecological research project at the University of York.
Scientists at the university are studying the distribution of the six species of large house spiders in the UK. Of those, two are the most common, apart from this part of the country where only one type is widespread. Now they want to know why.
In addition, the two most common spiders are breeding and are creating ‘super spiders’ with even longer legs!
Steve Lowe, head of conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: “We are looking for the supermodels of the spider world; you know the sort – the ones with massive legs and small bodies which can empty a room in five seconds.”
If you do happen to spot one scurrying across the floor, simply collect it (alive) inside half a toilet roll tube, packing it with a small amount of damp tissue and post it in a crush proof container such as a margarine tub and post it, together with details of where you found it, postcode and contact details to: Dr Geoff Oxford, Department of Biology (Area 14), University of York, Wentworth Way, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD.
All material will be acknowledged and postage costs reimbursed.
If you need more information contact Steve on 0191 284 6884.