- all species listed
Images and Species Descriptions
Text and photographs © 2011 Jørgen Lissner
The Spiders of Europe and Greenland
Family: Oecobiidae (Starlegged Spiders)
Biology: The species in both Uroctea og Oecobius have a highly characteristic appearance and cannot be mistaken for any other European species.
Characters of family: Small to medium-sized spiders with six or eight eyes.
Genus: Oecobius Lucas, 1846
Characters of genus: Small spiders, mostly less than 3 mm, producing hackled band threads from a transverse oriented spinning organ in front of the spinnerets (cribellum). Carapace subcircular. Posterior eyes triangular or irregular in shape. Anal tubercle prominent, two-segmented and furnished with a fringe of long hairs. The spiders spins flat retreats with a diameter of a few cm with lateral openings from which signaling threads protrude. The threads detect prey that stumbles over these threads and if the spider is hungry it will rush out for the catch. Webs are built in crevices such as under rocks and floors, behind walls and in ceilings. There are 43 species in Oecobius of which 42 are known from Europe. However, only five species are known from the European mainland, four of which are confined to southern Europe. Thirty-six species are endemic for the Canary Islands and Madeira with most of those species being Canarian. Two species are cosmopolitan, O. cellariorum and O. navus. The latter is the only species occurring in central and northern Europe.
Oecobius aculeatus Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius agaetensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius amboseli Shear & Benoit, 1974
Range: Denmark, Netherlands (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Denmark (introduced) (Platnick 10.0).
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Oecobius ashmolei Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius caesaris Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Portugal (Azores), Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is, Azores (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius camposi Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius cellariorum (Dugs, 1836)
Range: France (Mainland), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Italy (Mainland), Portugal (Mainland), Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Cosmopolitan (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius cumbrecita Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius depressus Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius dolosus Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius doryphorus Schmidt, 1977
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius duplex Wunderlich, 2011
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Female.
Female.
Female.
Oecobius erjosensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius fortaleza Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius fuerterotensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius furcula Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius gomerensis Wunderlich, 1979
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius hayensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius hidalgoensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius hierroensis Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius iguestensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius infierno Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Female.
Female.
Female, abdominal markings.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Male, abdominal markings.
Oecobius lampeli Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Portugal (Selvagens Islands), Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius latiscapus Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius linguiformis Wunderlich, 1995
Range: Portugal (Selvagens Islands), Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius longiscapus Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius machadoi Wunderlich, 1995
Range: Portugal (Mainland), Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Portugal, Spain (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius maculatus Simon, 1870
Range: Austria, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Greece (Crete), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sardinia), Italy (Sicily), Malta, Portugal (Mainland), Spain (Mainland), Switzerland (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Mediterranean to Azerbaijan (Platnick 10.0).
Male.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Oecobius marcosensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius maritimus Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius minor Kulczynski, 1909
Range: Portugal (Azores), Portugal (Madeira) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Azores, Madeira (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius navus Blackwall, 1859 - Urban Wall Spider
Description: Carapace is light coloured with blackish, irregular lines or markings along margins and dark markings in eye region. Legs pale, translucent, however with more or less pronounced dark annulations. Abdomen light grey and greyish brown with dark brown patches of varying sizes. Size: 2-3 mm. Maturity: All year? Habitat: In southern Europe under stones and in houses. North of the Alps only in houses. Range: Belgium (introduced), Estonia?, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Germany (introduced), Greece (Cyclades), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sardinia), Italy (Sicily), Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal (Azores), Portugal (Madeira), Portugal (Mainland), Portugal (Selvagens Islands), Spain (Balearic Islands), Spain (Canary Islands) (introduced), Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Cosmopolitan (Platnick 10.0).
Subadult male.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Female.
Female abdominal markings.
Female.
Male.
Oecobius palmensis Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius parapsammophilus Wunderlich, 2011
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Female.
Oecobius persimilis Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius pinoensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Subadult female.
Subadult female.
Subadult female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female epigyne, spinners and anal tubercle fringed with hairs (uncertain id - sure determination requires male).
Oecobius pseudodepressus Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius rhodiensis Kritscher, 1966
Range: Greece (Dodecanese Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Greece (Platnick 10.0).
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Oecobius rioensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius rugosus Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius selvagensis Wunderlich, 1995
Range: Portugal (Selvagens Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Salvages (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius similis Kulczynski, 1909
Range: Portugal (Azores), Portugal (Madeira), Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Madeira, Canary Is, Azores, St Helena (Platnick 10.0).
Male.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Male.
Male, abdominal markings.
Male.
Oecobius sombrero Wunderlich, 1987
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius tasarticoensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Oecobius unicoloripes Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Genus: Uroctea Dufour, 1820
Characters of genus: The species of Uroctea are found in Eurasia and Africa. Two species occur in southern Europe and one more is known from the Canary Islands. Uroctea species do not have a cribellum, but their web is very similar to the ones built by spiders of the cribellate Oecobius genus. The flat tent-like web is about 4 cm in diameter with six openings giving the tent a star-shaped appearance. The webs are built on the lower surface of stones and the spider sits upside down inside the tent thus serving as a retreat. From every opening two threads radiate to the surrounding, signalling vibrations of prey touching the threads. If hungry, the spider rushes out of the opening nearest to the prey and then tries to wrap they prey with silk. Uroctea has a habit of arranging the remains of the prey onto the lower part of the tent on the outer surface. Perhaps the force of gravity on the prey remains aids to give the tent a domed shape making the openings easier to pass through. The prey remains may alseo serve to camouflage the web.
Uroctea durandi (Latreille, 1809)
Description: Compact spider. Carapace dark brown, subcircular. Abdomen blackish with five yellow or white spots. Eyes in compact group. A thin blackish median band stretches back from the eyegroup to the centre of the carapace. The median band is flanked by another thin band in each side. Abdomen wide and widest at rear half. The blackish blue or black abdomen has two pairs of white or yellow spots. A fifth spot is present above the spinnerets. Size: 16 mm. Maturity: ? Habitat: Under stones. Range: Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, France (Mainland), Great Britain (Mainland) (introduced), Greece (Crete), Greece (Mainland), Greece (North Aegean Islands), Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sicily), Macedonia, Portugal (Mainland), Slovenia, Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Mediterranean (Platnick 10.0).
Female.
Female.
Unfinished tent web but the characteristic star-shape with the six exits are discernible.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Uroctea paivani (Blackwall, 1868)
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is, Cape Verde Is (Platnick 10.0).