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 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 in most cases, especially in Central Europe. However, one single population in Northern Catalonia (Spain) was founded by introduced specimens (Bellvert & Arnedo, 2016). Nevertheless, it shall not be listed as alien or invasive because it is native for Europe.

  Not established
  No data
Global distribution (WSC 2024): Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Algeria
 male  female
Distribution List

"No references" does not mean that the species does not occur in this country, but that we have not yet inserted the reference for it. We are working on it.

Algeria   (Benhacene et al., 2023) ||| Belgium   (Van Keer, 2011; Bosmans & Van Keer, 2017) ||| France   (Siaud & Raphaël, 2013) ||| Germany   (Bauer & Wendt, 2022) ||| Italy   (Pantini & Isaia, 2019) ||| Italy / Sardinia   (Pantini et al., 2016) ||| Morocco   (Bosmans, unpubl.) ||| Netherlands   (van Helsdingen, 2015b) ||| Portugal   (Branco et al., 2019) ||| Spain   (Branco et al., 2019) ||| Spain / Balearic Islands   (Branco et al., 2019) ||| Switzerland   (Hänggi & Stäubli, 2012) ||| United Kingdom   (Sherwood, 2022b) |||

Bauer T, Wendt I (2022) La araña toro, Macrothele calpeiana, repeatedly imported to Germany (Araneae: Macrothelidae). Fragmenta Entomologica 54: 69-72 pdf

Bellvert A, Arnedo M A (2016) Threatened or threatening? Evidence for independent introductions of Macrothele calpeiana (Walckenaer, 1805) (Araneae: Hexathelidae) and first observation of reproduction outside its natural distribution range. Arachnology 17: 137-141 pdf

Benhacene R, Adjami A, Hadjeb A, Kermiche K, Ouakid M L (2023) Bibliographic checklist of the Algerian spider fauna (Araneae). Zootaxa 5352: 301-357 pdf

Bosmans R, Van Keer K (2017) Een herziene soortenlijst van de Belgische spinnen (Araneae). Nieuwsbrief van de Belgische Arachnologische Vereniging 32: 39-69 pdf

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

Branco V V, Morano E, Cardoso P (2019) An update to the Iberian spider checklist (Araneae). Zootaxa 4614: 201-254 pdf

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

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

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

Pantini P, Isaia M, Mazzoleni F, Oneto C (2016) Nuovi dati sui ragni di Lombardia (Arachnida, Araneae). Rivista del Museo Civico di Scienze Naturali "E. Caffi", Bergamo 29: 21-44 pdf

Sherwood D (2022b) Macrothele calpeiana (Walckenaer, 1805), an occasional stowaway imported into the United Kingdom with olive trees (Araneae: Macrothelidae). Revista Ibérica de Aracnología 41: 135-136 pdf

Siaud P, Raphaël B (2013) Première observation en Provence d'une mygale andalouse: Macrothele calpeiana (Walckenaer, 1805). Mésogée, Bulletin du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Marseille 69: 5-11, 73-74 pdf

Snazell R, Allison R (1989) The genus Macrothele Ausserer (Araneae, Hexathelidae) in Europe. Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society 8: 65-72 pdf

Van Keer K (2011) An update on the verified reports of imported spiders (Araneae) from Belgium. Nieuwsbrief van de Belgische Arachnologische Vereniging 25(3, 2010): 210-214 pdf

WSC (2024) World Spider Catalog. Version 25.0. Natural History Museum Bern, online at (22.01.2024) doi: 10.24436/2 pdf

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