Subject: Black hairy scary spider
Geographic location of the bug: Marbella, Spain
Time: 11:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Could you please help me to identify this spider? It is dead, but I think pretty recent as I used a pencil to extend its front leg and it didn’t break. I actually thought it was going to move. Found it on the living room floor. Size is about 1″ body length, front leg 1-1/4″ long. Approximately, didn’t not have time to measure it. Is it poisonous, deadly? Live in Southern Spain, Costa del Sol, less than 1 mile from the Mediterranean Sea. Any info can help. Do you think a family is near by?
How you want your letter signed: Debi
The extremely long spinnerets on the tip of the abdomen is such a distinguishing feature, we had no trouble identifying the endangered Andalucian Funnel-Web Spider, Macrothele calpeiana, on The Olive Press where it states: “The Andalucian funnel-web spider is considered to be the largest in Europe and is easily recognisable. They are jet black with a glossy carapace and fine hairs on their legs and abdomen. The 1.5 cm-long spinnerets, at the rear, almost look like extra legs. The body can be up to 3.5 cm long and the stretched legs can reach a span of 8 cm.” The site also states: “This is the only spider in Europe to be protected by the European Union Habitats Directive. They are found mostly in Cádiz and Málaga provinces with smaller numbers in scattered enclaves discovered in Huelva, Sevilla, Granada, Jaén, Gibraltar and the furthest north Badajoz, in Extremadura.” According to Wildside Holidays (where those prior two quotes appear to have originated) : “These spiders are most active at night when they will wait at the tunnel entrance for prey to become glued onto the silken web. Their diet consists of small insects such as beetles, woodlouse, millipedes and crickets. When they feel the vibration of a trapped insect they will carefully approach, then bite the ill-fated prey with venom which will begin to liquefy it as they wrap it in silk. The venom is injected into their prey through openings in the tips of the pair of fangs. The glands that produce this venom are located in the two segments of the chelicerae. (The parts to which the fangs are attached).” By the way, we are relieved to learn you discovered this magnificent spider dead as we did not want to have to tag your posting as Unnecessary Carnage.