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

4 thoughts on “Endangered Species: Rare Ladybird Spider from Slovenia”

    • 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.


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