Offbeat

By Helen Le Caplain


This colourful spider looks like she’s scuttled straight out of the Madchester scene with a bright yellow SMILEY FACE on her head.

PIC FROM MERCURY PRESS

The cheerful arachnid appears to be a right little raver with the symbol of Manchester’s notorious music scene, which spawned the likes of Happy Mondays and Stone Roses, plastered on her head.

Biomedical scientist turned gardener Heidi Barnes spotted the colourful critter as she pegged out her washing in the garden and snapped a picture on her phone.

PIC FROM MERCURY PRESS

Heidi from Welling, south east London, said: “It looks like a monster on the screen but it was only about an inch long.

“I was pegging out the washing and there it was just sitting there on the edge of the brown bin.

“I spotted it because it was such a bright yellow colour against the bin. I thought ‘oh my God look at that’.

“When I saw the smiley face on its head I laughed a lot. I was happy to see it and it was clearly happy to see me too.

“I’m not bothered by spiders, I quite like them, I’d much rather have them than the creepy crawlies they eat.

PIC FROM MERCURY PRESS

“At first I didn’t know if it was a tropical spider given its colour – it looks so big and exotic. I’ve never seen one like that before.

“It was a really pretty spider.”

After sharing the picture with fellow spider enthusiasts Heidi believes her colourful companion was a harmless European garden spider which appears to have been through the wars.

Heidi, 58, said: “People I’ve shown the picture to believe she’s pregnant which is why her back end is so big.

PIC FROM MERCURY PRESS

“They’ve also pointed out a fairly large puncture wound.

“At first I suspected my cat Eric might be responsible as he’s a good mouser and leaves pieces of them around after catching them.

“But it must have been a bird as I’ve never known him to go for spiders – only bluebottles.”