Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ladybird Spider

Eresus cinnaberinus
It seems like there are so many spiders out there with awesome looking appearances. Like the Happy Face Spider, or even the iconic Black Widow. The Ladybird Spider is yet another interestingly "dressed" arachnid; adult males have a bright red abdomen with black spots that quite resemble Ladybirds!

Females are actually about twice the size of males, and are a black, velvety color. Young males resemble the females, and it only obtain their bright colors when they have reached full adulthood.

Both males and females build tube-like burrows in the ground, placing webs externally. They use these to capture other insects in order to feed. Ladybird Spiders thrive in dry climates, and won't even breed if it is too wet of a year! If breeding is to happen, the male leaves his burrow in search of a mate. (Some females can reach four years or older without ever leaving their burrow, and they can live as long as 8 years!)

Once mating takes place, an egg cocoon is laid, which the female keeps with her in her burrow. Once the young hatch, they will remain with their mother through the winter, and finally they will consume her when she dies in the spring.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Europe
Size : Females up to .8in (2cm) long
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Class : Arachnida -- Order : Araneae
Family : Eresidae -- Genus : Eresus -- Species : E. cinnaberinus

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