- all species listed
Images and Species Descriptions
Text and photographs © 2011 Jørgen Lissner
The Spiders of Europe and Greenland
Family: Sparassidae (Giant Crab Spiders)
Biology: Sparassidae is a mainly tropical family, with the majority of species found in south east Asia and Australia. Micrommata virescens is the only species occurring naturally in Northern and Central Europa, including Denmark. Tychicus longipes is introduced to the Netherlands from the island of Ambon, Indonesia.
Characters of family: They are characterised by flattened bodies and long legs which are more and less at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the spiders, making the spiders rather crab-like in appearance.
Genus: Barylestis Simon, 1910
Barylestis scutatus (Pocock, 1903)
Range: Ireland (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Cameroon (Platnick 10.0).
Barylestis variatus (Pocock, 1899)
Range: Ireland (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: West Africa (Platnick 10.0).
Genus: Cerbalus Simon, 1897
Cerbalus alegranzaensis Wunderlich, 1992
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Cerbalus psammodes Levy, 1989
Range: Belgium (introduced) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Egypt, Israel (Platnick 10.0).
Cerbalus verneaui (Simon, 1889)
Range: Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Genus: Eusparassus Simon, 1903
Eusparassus dufouri Simon, 1932
Range: Greece (Mainland), Italy (Mainland), Portugal (Mainland), Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Western Mediterranean (Platnick 10.0).
Eusparassus levantinus Urones, 2006
Range: Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Spain (Platnick 10.0).
Eusparassus walckenaeri (Audouin, 1826)
Range: Cyprus, Greece (Crete), Greece (Cyclades), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Greece (North Aegean Islands), Ukraine (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan (Platnick 10.0).
Female.
Female.
Female head.
Female abdominal markings.
Female.
Genus: Heteropoda Latreille, 1804
Heteropoda variegata (Simon, 1874)
Range: Greece (Dodecanese Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Greece to Israel (Platnick 10.0).
Heteropoda venatoria (Linnaeus, 1767)
Range: Belgium (introduced), Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal (Madeira), Switzerland (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Pantropical (Platnick 10.0).
Genus: Micrommata Latreille, 1804
Characters of genus: The species of the genus have an unmistakable appearance. The carapace is longer than broad and narrowed in the head region. The abdomen is elongate. The anterior row of eyes is recurved while the posterior row is straight or slightly procurved. The labium is small and semicircular. The lenght of legs IV are the longest, but are just slighly longer than legs I - III. They are not active hunters, but wait in the vegetation for prey to pass by and to be grabbed. The scopulae of tarsi and metatarsi are well developed, and provide excellent adherence to slippery substrates.
Micrommata aljibica Urones, 2004
Range: Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Spain (Platnick 10.0).
Micrommata aragonensis Urones, 2004
Range: Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Spain (Platnick 10.0).
Micrommata formosa Pavesi, 1878
Range: Italy (Sicily) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Algeria to Israel (Platnick 10.0).
Micrommata ligurina (C. L. Koch, 1845)
Description: Similar to the larger M. virescens in overall appearance. Just like this species, the colour of the carapace and legs are emerald green. However, M. ligurina differs by having an indistinct blackish median band which at rear contains two slightly diverging black bars. Further difference include vague lateral bands made of blackish streaks, and the spination of Tibia IV which are furnished with two dorsal spines. Females have the cardiac mark outlined with dark lines. The abdomen of adult males has a dark rusty brown median band with greyish sides which makes them quite different from M. virescens males. Size: Female 9-14 mm; male 6-9 mm. Maturity: Adults are encountered in late winter and early spring. Habitat: On herbaceous vegetation. Range: Bulgaria, Croatia, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Great Britain (Mainland) (introduced), Greece (Crete), Greece (Cyclades), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sardinia), Italy (Sicily), Macedonia, Malta, Portugal (Mainland), Romania, Spain (Balearic Islands), Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Mediterranean to Central Asia (Platnick 10.0).
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Male.
Male.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Micrommata spinicra (Dufour, 1831) (Nomen dubium)
Global range: Spain (Platnick 10.0).
Micrommata virescens (Clerck, 1757) - Green Huntsman
Description: A rather large species with very distinct colouration making it impossible to confuse it with any other species in the region. The black eyes are ringed with white hairs. The carapace and legs are green in both males and females, and covered with white silky hairs. Tibia IV with one one dorsal spine which separates the species from M. ligurina which have two dorsal spines. Females and juveniles of both sexes have bright emerald green abdomens with a yellow median band which for the most part is filled with a green cardiac mark. Just before wintering, the young male moults into a light yellow colourform with indistinct longitudinal scarlet bands and spots on the abdomen. The male winter as subadult. The final moult takes place in May whereby the abdomen becomes shiny yellow decorated with three longtidinal vivid scarlet bands. Spiderlings are yellow with reddish spots, and resemble juvenile males somewhat. Adults are much less frequently encountered than immatures, especially males that have a very short season. Size: Female 12-15 mm; male 8-10 mm. Maturity: Males have a very short period in May and June, females from May to August. Habitat: Oak forests, often with undergrowth of blueberry and heather. Also on low vegetation in damp forest clearings, forest edges and moors. Range: Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia/Herzegowina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Germany, Great Britain (Mainland), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Hungary, Ireland, Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sardinia), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway (Mainland), Poland, Portugal (Mainland), Romania, Russia (Central European), Russia (Eastern European), Russia (Northern European), Russia (NW. European), Russia (Southern European), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (Balearic Islands), Spain (Mainland), Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Yugoslavia (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Palearctic (Platnick 10.0).
Male.
Male.
Subadult male.
Subadult female.
Subadult female.
Juvenile.
Juvenile.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Micrommata virescens ornata (Walckenaer, 1802)
Range: Croatia, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Italy (Mainland), Macedonia, Portugal (Mainland), Slovenia (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Europe, Syria, Israel (Platnick 10.0).
Genus: Olios Walckenaer, 1837
Olios argelasius (Walckenaer, 1805)
Range: Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Greece (Crete), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Greece (North Aegean Islands), Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sicily), Portugal (Mainland), Slovenia?, Spain (Mainland), Yugoslavia (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Mediterranean (Platnick 10.0).
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Male.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Olios canariensis (Lucas, 1838)
Range: Spain (Balearic Islands), Spain (Canary Islands) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Canary Is (Platnick 10.0).
Male.
Male.
Male, abdominal markings.
Male palp.
Olios hirtus (Karsch, 1879)
Range: Great Britain (Mainland) (introduced) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Sri Lanka (Platnick 10.0).
Olios sanctivincenti (Simon, 1897)
Range: Ireland (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: St. Vincent (Platnick 10.0).
Genus: Tychicus Simon, 1880
Tychicus longipes (Walckenaer, 1837)
Range: Netherlands (introduced) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Amboina, introduced in Netherlands (Platnick 10.0).