What sort of spider is this?
Thank you for your question. Please tell us in what country you saw this spider. It will help us narrow down the field of possibilities
Hi Jim, it was found in England. A house in Derbyshire
Thank you for the information. I'm working on your identification.
Hello again. I heard from my contact in the U.K. The spider in your photograph is a very common species in your area. It's common name is the Giant House Spider, not very subtle. The scientific name for this species is Eratigena atrica. Until recently, it was classified as Tegenaria atrica and Tegenaria gigantea.
This spider feeds on insects that it traps in a sheet-like web. The web has a tubular hiding place in the rear of the web, where the spider hides and waits for prey to become entrapped in its web. This species is frequently found in houses, sheds, garages, etc. It's bite is not considered to pose a significant health risk to humans. This species seems reluctant to bite, preferring to escape if given the option.
Autumn is their mating season, and males are often seen wandering around looking for females. This species is often found stranded in bathtubs or sinks.
For additional photos and information on this species, check out these sites:
British Arachnological Society:
Hope this information helps, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.