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. 


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