What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Odd colorful spider
Location: Achaia, Greece
June 13, 2012 9:14 am
during a recent day trip to the wilderness I came across this odd colorful spider. What triggered my curiosity is that this awesome insect does not share the colors of the native Greek spiders (who commonly have earthly colors like brown and dark green), but looks like an exotic poisonous spider. Can you please identify it for me? Is it really poisonous or just flamboyant?
Thank you in advance!
Signature: Dimitris

Ladybird Spider

Dear Dimitris,
This beautiful spider is a harmless male Ladybird Spider in the genus
Eresus, a group of relatively rare spiders.  We have a lengthy post on our site of a female Ladybird Spider from Slovenia.  Ladybird Spiders are sexually dimorphic and the males and females appear to be different species.  This is a nice photo comparison of the sexes from ARKiveThere are some gorgeous photos of Ladybird Spiders on the Spiders of North West Europe website, including an image of possibly Eresus sandaliatus submitted by Dimitris Tzortzakis  from Kreta, Greece.  That wouldn’t be you, would it???

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Achaia, Greece

37 Responses to Ladybird Spider from Greece

  1. Angel Jynx says:

    One of the rarest spiders in Europe! What a lucky find. This is a male – one of the few species where the male is more brightly-coloured than the female. Cheers! 🙂

  2. Jayne Wilson says:

    What an amazing creature!

  3. greg says:

    Indeed i found that in Mani Gytheio rare one and very impressive seeking probably a female nest. Indeed there were female nests at close proximity at the spider site. I first came up that spider when i was very young and thought was a black widow but of course its not at all . Its black velvety coloured and the nest seems like a fluffy tube like woolen clothing radiating oyutwards (like sgegestrias or filistidae spiders ) but lot bigger. The web is very strong tight and also fluffy parts are extemely elastic. Very impressive spider not at all dangerous despite its menace looking of the female. The malmignate or the female black widow of south europe is the 1/10 of its size. Hence spiders size is not a factor of dangerousness…. This is true a big one is not a venomous for humans.

  4. jackie pritchard says:

    I think I found a ladybird spider in my yard today…I think? to me this spider has a pumpkin on its back… I did take pictures…

    gardengirl in Birmingham, alabama

  5. Billy says:

    Found at St. Nikolaos of Vonitsa (close to Lefkada).
    3 times in fact!

  6. Kay and Alex says:

    We saw two of these beauties yesterday. This is a wonderful year for spiders in Kythira. The variety of web spiders is much wider than most Springs.

  7. Stefanos I. Tsaklidis says:

    I found on too.
    Location Kavala, Greece.
    I tried to take a good photo but it was running very fast.

    Check this one.
    Flickr photo

    I have also a clear photo of her back.

  8. Nasos Markonis says:

    I found yesterday a male Ladybird spider in the area of Larissa – central Greece !!!

  9. Andrea says:

    Just found one in Naxos Greece

  10. Ma'am Dimitrova says:

    Hi there!
    We have one female ladybird spider at home.As I had the chance to observe the behavior of this spider,I must say it is really sweet and don’t cause any problems.
    I was wondering if it is possible to keep it as a pet or should I release it back where it was found.And one more question – is it really endangered species or the endangerment is only for the UK.Forgot to mention that the spider was found in Plovdiv , Bulgaria.
    Thanks in advance!

    • bugman says:

      We believe that the Ladybird Spider may be rare in many parts of its range. Possibly your individual has already mated and might be able to lay eggs in captivity, in which case you could release young spiders back into the habitat while providing a safer environment for your spider. Your questions are not easy to answer but we believe you may be a good caretaker for the spider in your possession, and that you might be able to have a beneficial impact on a potentially endangered species, but that would depend upon your spider’s fertility. If she has not mated, then we think it is a shame to deny her the chance to pass on her genes.

  11. Sarah says:

    We discovered THREE of these male Lady Bird spiders on our walk today in Cotterg, Valais, Switzerland. I took photos and these are definitely a match. What a rare find! This is the first time I have ever seen this coloring and kind of spider and so we photographed a few of them and looked it up as we were curious to discover if they were poisonous and just what kind of spider they are. Thank you for your blog info. Please let me know if there is somewhere we can upload our photos to share with other spider lovers out there.

  12. pat and jim reid says:

    Saw a ladybird spider yesterday on the coastal path between Stoupa and Agios Nikolaus on the west coast of the Mani in Greece. What a pretty arachnid.

  13. efi angeli says:

    I find that spider every year for the past 3 years in Evia island ( Styra) in early spring. Difficult not to notice. It stands out on the local grey stones . Impressive creature for greek standard s!

  14. Anthea & Bernard Merrick says:

    Had a ladybird spider, possibly female from the size, cross our path at Delphi amongst the ruins two weeks ago. Caused a thrill for our temple-viewing party! Very glad to learn now that it is not poisonous, because of the open-toed sandals.

  15. Stephanie Banks says:

    You may be interested in this Facebook thread. My husband took a video of the female Ladybird spider in the chora of Koufonissi the other night. I have also posted a photo of the male we saw on Sifnos last year. https://www.facebook.com/peter.youseff.35/videos/10155710866785361/

  16. Fiona Johnson says:

    Saw Ladybird spider in kastos Greece mid may, have picture if needed

  17. Anne says:

    I’ve found plenty in Houston, Texas. Wow they sure get around!

  18. Lisa says:

    Found a male ladybird spider today at 5.20 pm in my backyard, (gianouli village in Evros, Greece)
    Will post the taken pictures on my Instagram in up to a week if anyone’s interested (@PunkyPiez)
    (Tbh I wanted to add him to my bug collection until I found out its a rare species D:)

  19. Mick O'Meara says:

    Just like to let you know we saw two Lady Bird Spiders whilst on holiday in Pefkos Rhodes today Monday 15th May 2017

  20. nick says:

    Strangely enough, I spotted one of those in Kiotari, Rhodes Greece, but didn’t manage to get a picture as it disappeared under a wall.

  21. BJC says:

    Had one in our house near Lindos, Rhodes just now… I’m afraid it was on the dog and he killed it… not sure whether he’s been bitten or not, so keeping an eye on him… are they venomous?

  22. Tympanidis Georgios says:

    Found one yesterday at Orestiada, Evros, Greece. I was lucky to have my older son with me to admire her as well!!! Trully a very beautiful spider. You can see the photos I took at my Instagram profile (tympos).
    I wonder if they are really rare at my area.

  23. Wendy Shaw says:

    Some of my pupils found a male today in the school yard in Patras, in the north western Peloponnese (Greece). It was a very exciting find! I have photos 🙂

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