Ladybird Spider: All You Need to Know for Enthusiasts and Curious Minds

The Ladybird Spider is a fascinating species with distinct features and behaviors that make it stand out among other spiders. It belongs to the Eresus genus and is known for its vibrant colors and unique patterns. In this article, we’ll explore some of the must-know facts about Ladybird Spiders, shedding light on their appearance, habitats, and significance in the ecosystem.

Native to Europe and parts of Asia, Ladybird Spiders are quite small; adult females measure around 10-16mm, while males tend to be smaller at 8-11mm. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males sporting bright red or orange abdomens adorned with black dots, resembling the well-known ladybird beetle. On the other hand, females display more muted colors, usually featuring a black or brown body.

What is a Ladybird Spider?

Scientific Classification

  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Family: Eresidae
  • Genus: Eresus

Genus Eresus

The Ladybird Spider is a member of the Eresus genus, commonly known as velvet spiders due to their unique velvety appearance.

Eresidae Family

Eresidae family spiders are also referred to as velvet spiders, and they are generally small to medium-sized, with characteristic colors and patterns.

Arachnida Class

Ladybird Spiders belong to the Arachnida class, which includes over 100,000 species of invertebrates like spiders, scorpions, and ticks.

Arthropoda Phylum

The largest phylum in the animal kingdom, Arthropoda, encompasses creatures with jointed limbs and exoskeletons, such as insects, arachnids, and crustaceans.


Ladybird Spiders can be found in various locations, including:

  • Central Europe
  • Southern Norway
  • Northern Italy
  • Dorset Heathland


There are different species of Ladybird Spiders, with habitat preferences ranging from lowland heathland to sheltered areas, some examples include:

  • Eresus kollari, found in Italy
  • Eresus cinnaberinus, commonly found in Central Europe

The Ladybird Spider has distinctive black spots on its abdomen, giving it a similar appearance to the ladybird beetle. Its name was first introduced by Charles Athanase Walckenaer in the early 1800s. Monitoring and preserving this captivating species are essential for maintaining biodiversity.

Physical Description and Identification


Ladybird spiders are part of the velvet spider family and are relatively small in size. Males typically measure around 4-6 millimeters, while females are slightly larger, averaging 8-10 millimeters.


These spiders exhibit striking colors and patterns, with males and females displaying different characteristics. Males are usually dark with red-orange markings, whereas females have a black base color with bright red abdomens and black spots.

Sexual Dimorphism

  • Males: Dark color with red-orange markings
  • Females: Black color with bright red abdomens and black spots

Red Abdomen

The female ladybird spider’s red abdomen serves as an easily identifiable feature for this species. The color not only attracts potential mates but also helps in deterring potential predators due to the bright warning colors.

Black Spots

Black spots on the female’s abdomen add to the overall appearance of the spider, mimicking the look of a ladybird, which is how this species got its name. These black spots act as a defense mechanism, making the spider appear less appealing to predators.

Comparison Table: Male vs Female Ladybird Spiders

Feature Male Female
Color Dark with red-orange markings Black with red abdomen and spots
Size (average) 4-6 millimeters 8-10 millimeters
Prosoma Usually smaller Slightly larger, more rounded

Habitat and Distribution

Lowland Heath

The Ladybird Spider can primarily be found in lowland heath habitats. These environments typically feature:

  • Dry and sandy soils
  • Low growing vegetation like heather
  • A mix of grasses and shrubs

In general, lowland heathlands provide the ideal conditions for the spiders to create burrows, hunt their prey, and reproduce.


The Ladybird Spider has a widespread distribution across Europe. Some key locations include:

  • England
  • Northern Italy
  • Southern Norway

In these regions, they mainly occupy heathlands and south-facing slopes with suitable sheltered locations.

Location Preferred Habitat
England Dorset heathland
Northern Italy South-facing slopes
Southern Norway Lowland heaths and forests


In England, the Ladybird Spider is mostly found in the Dorset heathlands, a prime example of lowland heath habitat. However, the species is considered endangered in this area due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Northern Italy

In Northern Italy, the spider thrives in south-facing slopes, as they provide an ideal mix of sunlight, warmth, and the necessary vegetation for their survival.

South-Facing Slopes

South-facing slopes play a significant role in the Ladybird Spider’s distribution. These areas experience more sunlight and warmth, which results in:

  • Greater prey availability
  • Suitable burrow conditions
  • Favorable microhabitats

Sheltered Locations

Sheltered locations are vital for Ladybird Spiders, as they offer protection from harsh weather conditions and predators. Such spots include:

  • Dense vegetation pockets
  • Under rocks or logs
  • Crevices in the terrain

Overall, understanding the Ladybird Spider’s habitat and distribution is essential for its conservation efforts, as factors like habitat loss and fragmentation pose significant threats to this striking and intriguing species.

Behavior and Ecology

Diet and Prey

Ladybird spiders primarily feed on insects such as beetles and other spiders. They catch prey using their venomous bite.

  • Prey examples: beetles, other spiders


They have some predators, like birds and larger spiders, but are often protected by their bright colors, warning potential threats of their venom.

  • Predator examples: birds, larger spiders

Silk and Webs

Ladybird spiders create different types of silk for various purposes, including the production of cribellate silk used for prey capture.

  • Liquid silk hardens into webs

Burrow Life

These spiders live in silk-lined burrows, providing shelter and protection from predators. They often stay hidden in their burrows during the day and come out at night for hunting.

  • Burrows protect from predators
  • Active at night

Reproduction and Mating

Mating typically occurs in the spring, with male ladybird spiders seeking out females within their burrows.

  • Mating season: spring

Female and Spiderlings Care

After mating, female ladybird spiders lay eggs within their burrows and guard the eggs and spiderlings until they are ready to leave the burrow. This maternal care ensures the young spiders have a higher chance of survival.

  • Female guards eggs and spiderlings

Comparison Table

Feature Ladybird Spider Other Spider Species
Diet Insects Insects, small animals
Silk Type Cribellate Varies
Burrow Life Yes Sometimes
Mating Season Spring Varies
Female and Spiderlings Care Yes Varies

Conservation and Threats

Endangered Status

The Ladybird Spider (Eresus sandaliatus) is considered an endangered species in many parts of its range, particularly in England. It was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1980. In the UK, the Ladybird Spider is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and is listed in the British Red Data Book as vulnerable.

Land-Use Changes

One major threat to the Ladybird Spider is land-use changes, mainly due to:

  • Urban development
  • Agriculture
  • Conversion of lowland heathland to other land uses

These activities result in habitat loss for the spider and reduce the availability of prey for the male spiders.

Agriculture and Forestry

Agriculture and forestry can negatively impact the Ladybird Spider’s habitat through:

  • Fertilizer runoff
  • Pesticides
  • Deforestation

These practices degrade the quality of the spider’s habitat, threatening its survival.

Conservation Efforts

Efforts to conserve the Ladybird Spider include:

  • Habitat restoration
  • Heathland management
  • Captive breeding and reintroduction programs

These efforts aim to maintain or improve the conditions of the spider’s habitat, supporting conservation and recovery.


Ongoing monitoring of the Ladybird Spider population is essential to ensure the effectiveness of conservation efforts. Monitoring activities involve:

  • Surveying the spider’s population
  • Assessing habitat quality
  • Identifying new threats

Regular monitoring helps to inform adaptive management strategies and ensure the Ladybird Spider’s long-term survival.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Ladybird Spider from Greece


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???

Letter 2 – Ladybird Spider from Greece: Eresus ruficapillus


Subject: Unidentified spider
Location: Delphi, Central Greece, Southern Europe
August 13, 2014 7:57 am
This spider was seen in Delphi, Greece, on 10th May 2014. I haven’t seen one before… It is about 3 – 4 cm long, black and hairy with an orange ring on its back which covers its belly. I moved it with my leg and it felt endangered, so it lift its forelegs to attack. Pretty scary and amazing! I would be delighted if you could send me feedback with the species of this spider as to search for further information. Thank you in advance!
Signature: Demetrios Grigoropoulos

Ladybird Spider: Eresus ruficapillus
Ladybird Spider: Eresus ruficapillus

Dear Demetrios,
This is a Ladybird Spider in the family Eresidae,
and it is a female spider.  The males and females exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, and they don’t even resemble the same species.  Most examples of male Ladybird Spiders we have seen have bright red abdomens with black spots, and their coloration and markings resemble those of a Ladybird Beetle, hence the common name.  We located an image of the Eresidae, Lady bird spider page that looks very much like your individual, and you must scroll down to Eresus ruficapillus to view the images.  Another individual is pictured on the Arachnofilia forum.  Ladybird Spiders are not commonly encountered and there is much evidence that they are endangered. 


Letter 3 – Endangered Species: Rare Ladybird Spider from Slovenia


Location: Slovenia, Sezana
August 18, 2011 8:10 am
I found it outside near entrance of my flat on rainy day.
Thought it was a baby bird eater or something like that.
I made a terrarium and i feed it with grasshoppers.
It is a beautiful black spider with orange head. I call it Denis Rodman 🙂
It is about 5 cm big. While i was waiting to grow up spider got lot of little spiders.
Now i am quite afraid because i don’t know nothing about that spider and little ones can escape away from terrarium!
Maybe spider is poisonous and dangerous. I don’t believe that spider is common here! It looks more like some tropical spider. Cannot Google it!
Once you already helped me and i hope this time you can do it too because i don’t know what to do with all those little spiders.
Please help me ASAP because i am not sure if my family is in danger.
Signature: Lazar Trivunovic

Ladybird Spider

Dear Lazar,
WE believe this may be an endangered and protected Ladybird Spider in the genus
Eresus, family Eresidae, based on what we have uncovered on the Spiders of Northwest Europe website.  The colors and markings of your individual are different than those posted on the site, however, the shape of the spider and they arrangement of the eyes seems correct.  The website states:  “The female measures 15 – 20 mm and the male around 10 mm. The spider makes a tube of silk in the ground and with a roof of cribellate silk on the ground. The female and the not adult male are coloured black and velvet. The male spider only gets its colouring at his last change of skin. Then he leaves its home and starts wandering looking for a female. The male becomes adult in the autumn or in spring. Females can become four years old and never leave their hiding.   The spider makes one cocoon with eggs. At daytime they bring out their cocoon and let it warm in the sun. At night the cocoon is return in the hiding. The young spiders stay in the housing tube during the winter and stay with their mother for quite a long time. During this time they may change skin for six times. In spring the mother dies and is consumed by the young spiders.   This spider is very rare and protected in some countries.  Their habitat is often found on south-faced, sheltered, heathery slopes.”  You might want to contact your local natural history museum to see if they have a spider exhibit and can take this rarity off of your hands.  We found this matching photo on Flickr.  This photo from Arkive Images of Life on Earthcompares the male and female.  You have made a significant find and your efforts to raise the female and her brood in captivity have earned you tagging in our Bug Humanitarian Award category.  Please do what you can to ensure the survival of this endangered native spider.  The name Ladybird Spider is because of the bright coloration of the male which resembles a ladybug.  Back in 2006, we received a photo of a male Ladybird Spider from Spain.

Female Ladybird Spider

Thank you very much!!!
This is amazing! All neighbours said that would kill that spider.
Happy that i saw it first. I knew in a second that spider was completely different from others. I took it to the local pet shop and owner said that is interesting spider and made me to do a home made terrarium.
I watch how she made a hiding in ground and silky entrance.
First this entrance was closed and i could see how she was moving around with orange cocoon.
Later spider made a hole in silk and now little spiders are moving around it.
All spiders are like mother but only about 4mm and light brown coloured.
This is a great story and excellent news. I am glad i could help this rare spider.
I will contact instantly people that could help me to save this specie.
I must be quite fast because i am not sure what little spider can eat.
Thank you very much and i will report you any further news.
Sincerely Lazar Trivunovic

Hi again Lazar,
We expect that with the maternal care given by female Ladybird Spiders, the mother may share her food with her progeny.  We love that you have provided us with a threat posture photo.  Seems she is fighting to defend her brood.  We are also very excited by your story and we were so grateful that you chose What’s That Bug? the only global identification site attempting to educate as many people as possible about the wonders of things that crawl.

Ed. Note:  Read more about the Ladybird Spider

Britain’s rarest spider ‘Ladybird Spider’ eats its mother

BBC Science & Nature – Wildfacts – Ladybird Spider

Letter 4 – Endangered Male Ladybird Spider from Crete


Subject: Ldybird Spider
Location: Vamos, Crete
May 23, 2015 8:05 am
This was taken in my garden on the island of Crete. Can you tell me if it is poisonous? Fascinating to find many different spiders here. Last one we found was a wolf spider.
Signature: LindaJ

Male Ladybird Spider
Male Ladybird Spider

Dear LindaJ,
Your endangered male Ladybird Spider in the genus
Eresus, most likely Eresus sandaliatus based on information included on the Spiders of NorthWest Europe site which has images from Crete indicating that the species can be identified by the black and white hind legs.  Most spiders have venom, but very few species of spiders are considered dangerous to humans.  To the best of our knowledge, the Ladybird Spiders are considered harmless, and the fact that they are endangered through much of their range indicates that no methods should be used to threaten them if they are found in your garden.

Letter 5 – Male Ladybird Spider from Greece


Subject:  Male ladybird spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  Between Lindos and Pefkos
Date: 05/30/2019
Time: 08:21 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi
We saw this today walking across the patio of a villa. It walked casually across the patio, attempted to climb one of the walls, then found shelter behind an aircon unit. It was about the size of a €2 coin. We think it’s a ladybird spider from our Googling, but would love an experts opinion!
How you want your letter signed:  No

Ladybird Spider

Dear No,
Thanks so much for submitting your detailed and beautiful image of a male Ladybird Spider sighted between Lindos and Pefkos.

Letter 6 – Female Ladybird Spider from Greece


Subject: Poisonous spider in Greece?
Location: Kos Island, Greece
August 30, 2014 4:50 pm
during my visit in Asklepion on Greek island Kos, we found on the stairs this big black spider, about 7 cm long. It was quite aggressive, when I took it away from the visitors, on a long stick to the nearest forrest, it was biting the stick!
Could you please help me identify what kind of spider it was?
Signature: Olaf

Female Ladybird Spider
Female Ladybird Spider

Dear Olaf,
In our opinion, this looks like a female Ladybird Spider in the family Erisidae, a family with many endangered and rare species.  Ladybird Spiders get their common name because of the coloration and markings of many male spiders in the family, which are red with black spots.  Ladybird Spiders exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, and the larger, often black females appear to be distinctly different species from the male Ladybird Spiders.  See FlickR for a similar looking image  and SpiderzRule for additional information on Ladybird Spiders.

Letter 7 – Ladybird Spider from Crete


Subject: Ladybird Spider
Location: Chania, Crete
April 21, 2016 11:40 am
Today at the University I saw this spider. Curious about how it looks I ended up in your page and learned it’s somehow rare to find. So, if its in any way good, I’m sending you an image and a short clip of this beautiful specimen.
Loved your website, straight to bookmarks.
Signature: José

Ladybird Spider
Ladybird Spider

Dear José,
Thank you for submitting your awesome image of a male Ladybird Spider,
Eresus sandaliatus.

Letter 8 – Ladybird Spider


found in spain
Howdy! My friend and i were walking around a small village in Murcia in the south of spain, catching some rays and visiting an old favoured place near a bridge. Along came this thing and i have not one clue what it is, so i snapped up a photo and decided to ask you. Its very dry in the south of span and we werent really near much grass or anything, but sitting on stone. Mainly near vinyards and dusty places. I tried to ask people that live here and look on the net but nothing came up since i dont really know where to start.
The Wandering Scottish Girl.

Hi Girl,
This is some species of Jumping Spider, family Salticidae.

Ed. Note: (05/03/2006) We stand Corrected!!
Hi Bugman, I noticed your recent picture of a “jumping spider” from Spain. This in fact is not a jumping spider but is the Ladybird Spider (Eresus cinnabarinus) of the family Eresidae. Hope this is of help.
Aaron in London

Hi Aaron,
Thanks for the information. A websearch led us to a site from Capetown on the family Eresidae, known as Velvet Spiders.

Letter 9 – Ladybird Spider from Switzerland


Subject: Lady bird spider
Location: Veysonnaz Switzerland
August 19, 2015 1:57 am
We are in Veysonnaz and see the ladybird spider quite regularly. My children often have seen them in the past years that we have been here on holiday.
I will attach a picture
Signature: Candy Kitsz

Ladybird Spider
Ladybird Spider

Dear Candy,
Thanks so much for sending in your image of a gorgeous male Ladybird Spider.  It is our understanding that populations of Ladybird Spiders are on the decline because of habitat loss.  We believe your individual is
Eresus cinnaberinus based on images and information on the Spiders of North West Europe site.  We are running a bit late this morning and this is the only posting we can make prior to heading to work.  We apologize to our readership and we promise to post additional images later in the day.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your email.
According to my children, there are quite a lot of the ladybird spiders at a certain area in Veysonnaz town. However, we have never seen them higher up on the mountain. They are very pretty and I had no idea that they were so rare.
I will post more pictures should I see them
Warmest wishes
Candy Kitsz

Letter 10 – Ladybird Spider Rescued in Greece


Subject:  Saved from pool in Kefalonia
Geographic location of the bug:  Kefalonia, Greece
Date: 06/03/2019
Time: 08:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just thought youd like to know. Ladybird spider Saved from a pool in Kefalonia
How you want your letter signed:  ..

Ladybird Spider

Dear ..,
Thanks for letting us know about your rescue of this beautiful male Ladybird Spider.  Thanks to your kindness, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Letter 11 – Ladybird Spider from Switzerland


Subject: Male Lady Bird Spider
Location: Valais, Switzerland
August 4, 2014 5:17 am
We discovered these male Lady Bird Spiders today in Cotterg, Valais, Switzerland. We looked them up online and were led to your website where we found out they are a rare and endangered spider. We saw THREE of them today, and wanted to share our photos with this wonderful site for others to enjoy this beautiful spider.
Signature: Swiss Sarah

Male Ladybird Spider
Male Ladybird Spider

Dear Swiss Sarah,
Thanks for sending your documentation of male Ladybird Spiders in Switzerland.  We guess it is mating season there as the brightly colored male Ladybird Spiders are out searching for the drastically different looking, sexually dimorphic female Ladybird Spiders that rarely leave their burrows.

Letter 12 – Male and Female Ladybird Spiders from Greece


Subject:  what’s that bug and my little lady bird family
Geographic location of the bug:  EUBOEA ISLAND GREECE
Date: 06/09/2018
Time: 01:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would like to know what’s this bug, that has made this baby nest and takes care of this intensively.
Also I  post fotos from my lady bird spider, I recently invented in my property.
How you want your letter signed:  ELENA GKIOYZE

Male Ladybird Spider

Dear Elena,
Your nest-building insect is some species of bee, but there is not enough detail in your image for us to identify the species.  We are thrilled to post your images of the sexually dimorphic male Ladybird Spider and female Ladybird Spiders you found.

Female Ladybird Spider

Letter 13 – Male Ladybird Spider from Greece


Subject:  Ladybird spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Patras, Greece
Date: 05/15/2019
Time: 02:29 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! Here are some photos from our school yard
How you want your letter signed:  Wendy

Male Ladybird Spider

Dear Wendy,
Thanks for sending in your awesome image of an endangered male Ladybird Spider.

Letter 14 – Male Ladybird Spider from Italy


Subject:  Male ladybird spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Puglia Italy
Date: 06/03/2019
Time: 04:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was just sent from a friend in Italy wondering what it was. I found it immediately on your site!  What a coincidence.
How you want your letter signed:  Jerry

Male Ladybird Spider

Dear Jerry,
This is indeed a male Ladybird Spider.  We are happy you found our site to be helpful in its identification.

Letter 15 – Male Ladybird Spider from Greece


Subject: Is this a ladybird spider?
Location: Mytilene, Greece
June 9, 2016 2:45 pm
Hello I am in Mytilene, Greece, where I found this beautiful spider and tried to take a picture but was too fast for a good shot. I would like to learn if it is poisonous
Goog job
Signature: Eri

Ladybird Spider
Ladybird Spider

Dear Eri,
This is indeed a male Ladybird Spider and they are not considered dangerous to humans.

Letter 16 – Probably Ladybird Spider from Greece


Subject:  Is this spider a Ladybird
Geographic location of the bug:  Greece south Peloponnesis
Date: 05/07/2019
Time: 04:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Do you know what is this ?
I met this strange spider in Stoupa last Monday.
It was walking quite slowly on the road, body is strong and as large as a 2€ coin, legs are strong too and very tightly gathered around the body.
Wondering if it is common in this area, this is first time I see such strange bug.
I’ve been told this might be a Ladybird Spider
How you want your letter signed:  Chris1957

Probably Ladybird Spider

Dear Chris1957,
We believe that you are correct in suspecting that this is a Ladybird Spider in the family Eresidae.  This image on FlickR and this image on FlickR look very similar.  Ladybird Spiders exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females look very different, and it is the male Ladybird Spider that is responsible for the common name.

Thanks a lot for the confirmation
Take care

Letter 17 – Possible Orb Weaver from Africa: Ladybird Spider?????


Dear Bugman,
I took this photo on a boat in the northern section of the Kafue National Park in Zambia. Can you tell me what it is, I have never seen anything like it before? Thanks

Hi Shannon,
We don’t have the time to research this at the moment, but it is so crazy looking we have to post it. We believe this to be one of the Crablike Orb Weaving Spiders. The closest we could come, though the color is wrong, is this Ladybird Spider genus Paraplectana, on a postage stamp.

Update: (06/07/2007) Ladybird Spider can be Yellowh
Hi Daniel and Lisa,
There is not much info on the web about Paraplectana spp., but I did find this info thanks to Google book search. From: Southern African Spiders: An Identification Guide By Martin R. Filmer “The abdomen of this orb-web spider is round and decorated with black spots on a bright yellow or red background. Not commonly seen but very distinctive, it is easy to recognize if found.” I would think that if the abdomen in this genus can be yellow or red it can probably also be this sort of creamy-white color? Best to you as always,

Hi Susan,
We were secretly hoping you might come through with an answer for us on this. So nice to see you are still reading our site.

Hi Daniel,
Oh yes I love the site, I read it every day. I have a few emails to send you, a couple of new images from our Nevis in late April/early May, and some other bits and pieces of ID stuff, but I was waiting until everything calmed down a little… (Relatively speaking of course, since your site is so popular that nowadays you are always snowed under with requests! Not surprisingly, because from my perspective, I honestly think that WTB really does embody everything that is great about the world wide web and what it can do.) Good wishes,

Shucks, We’re blushing.

Go ahead and blush but it is true. First of WTB is a beautiful-looking and well-designed site. It’s not commercial, it is purely a labor of love. It is updated all of the time, but it is also fully archived, and that’s great in itself. It’s appreciated by people all round the world because it is so welcoming and interactive, and so informal and friendly in every way. It’s the perfect balance of science and art and just plain old human curiosity, which is the glorious foundation of all education. It encourages children and adults to start to love bugs, (a category of critters that so many people either actively hate or passively ignore), it helps children appreciate nature, it opposes extermination and bug-crushing. It shows how amateur biologists can do stellar work that ultimately does and will help professionals. It showcases many great photos taken by amateurs. It’s a celebration of biodiversity, and a celebration of the small and overlooked creatures of the world. I love the fact that there is no snobbery at all about what constitutes a “bug” and what doesn’t. In fact there is no snobbery of any kind evident on your parts, only kindness and generosity of spirit. I am a Buddhist as well as a very keen amateur naturalist, and I would say that WTB is a great act of generosity that creates more good-feeling, more fellow-feeling, and more respect for living things in the world. What could be better than that. It’s very sad that the world lost Steve Irwin, but as long as we have people like you guys to carry the torch, the celebration of supposedly despised and supposedly dangerous animals will continue to flourish! And flourish in the great tradition of amateur naturalists. I am from Britain and I grew up 5 miles from Charles Darwin’s house. Good solid amateur naturalists have always been highly honored in Britain.


  • Daniel Marlos

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

57 thoughts on “Ladybird Spider: All You Need to Know for Enthusiasts and Curious Minds”

    • They are not Jumping Spiders, which is what we thought at first based on the body structure. They eyes are all wrong for Jumping Spiders. We haven’t totally researched this yet, but we believe they are probably grouped with the primitive spiders, Tarantulas, Trapdoor Spiders and Purseweb Spiders in the Infraorder Mygalomorphae which we suspect because of the behavior of the female. While we are working on this comment, we will take a sidebar and try to research that. We were wrong. They are True Spiders in the Infraorder or suborder Araneomorphae.

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 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!

  9. 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!

    • 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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:)

  15. 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:)

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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 🙂

  23. I live in Rome Italy in the countryside north of the city. I found a lady bird spider just like your photo in my swimming pool. If you’re interested I can send you my photos of this beautiful spider.


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