Macrothelidae  Simon, 1892 / Macrothele  Ausserer, 1871   3 species

Macrothele calpeiana  (Walckenaer, 1805)


Bulbus of male palp simple. Embolus long, filiform. Vulva with a pair of long coiled spermathecae. Prosoma dark red-brown in preserved specimens (black in living specimens), with dark striae; fovea a circular pit. Sternum oval, with 6 oval sigilla. Opisthosoma dark grey in preserved specimens (in living specimens purple/violet), dorsally with 3 pairs of impressed dots. Coxa I with highly modified paddle-shaped spines. Distal part of chelicerae covered with long black hairs. 4 Spinnerets, posterior laterals long, three-segmented

Body length male: 20.3-26.8 mm
Body length female: 28.2-34.7 mm
Additional information

In oakwoods, but also common in secondary habitats and anthropogenous habitats such as dumps.

Since a few decades, this species shows some spreading tendencies within Europe. Additionally, it is spread within Europe with potted old olive trees but cannot establish sustainable populations. Nevertheless, it shall not be listed as alien or invasive because it is native for Europe.

  Not established
  No data
Global distribution (WSC 2020): Spain, Italy, North Africa
 male  female
Distribution List
Algeria   ( no references ) ||| Belgium   ( no references ) ||| Italy   ( no references ) ||| Morocco   ( no references ) ||| Netherlands   ( no references ) ||| Portugal   ( no references ) ||| Spain   ( no references ) ||| Switzerland   ( no references ) |||

Bosmans R. (unpubl.) Provisional list of spiders of North Africa. Database excerpt Aug. 2019

Hänggi A, Stäubli A (2012) Nachträge zum „Katalog der schweizerischen Spinnen“: 4. Neunachweise von 2002 bis 2011. Arachnologische Mitteilungen 44: 59-76

Helsdingen P J van (2010a) Araneae. In: Fauna Europaea Database (Version 2010.1), online at

Helsdingen P J van (2015b) Binnenwandelende exoten. Nieuwsbrief SPINED 35: 33-34

Pantini P, Isaia M (2019) the online Catalog of Italian spiders, with addenda on other Arachnid Orders occurring in Italy (Arachnida: Araneae, Opiliones, Palpigradi, Pseudoscorpionida, Scorpiones, Solifugae). Fragmenta Entomologica 51: 127-152 pdf

Snazell R, Allison R (1989) The genus Macrothele Ausserer (Araneae, Hexathelidae) in Europe. Bull Br arachnol Soc 8: 65-72

Van Keer K (2010) An update on the verified reports of imported spiders (Araneae) from Belgium. Nieuwsbr Belg Arachnol Ver 25: 210-214

World Spider Catalog (2019) World Spider Catalog, version 20.5. Natural History Museum Bern, online at (20.09.2019) doi: 10.24436/2

22-06-2016 Distribution update Detail
22-12-2015 Distribution update Detail
01-10-2015 Distribution update Detail