Sicariidae  Keyserling, 1880 / Loxosceles  Heineken & Lowe, 1835   2 species

Loxosceles rufescens  (Dufour, 1820)


Pedipalp male: with thickened tibia. Embolus curved, about as long as width of bulbus. Prosoma orange-brown. Prosoma 3 mm long. Clypeus narrower than in female. Legs yellow to orange. Opisthosoma grey to yellowish brown

Body length male: 7-7.5 mm

Vulva with receptacula close together, produced into rounded lobes projecting to inner side. Prosoma 3.2 mm long. Prosoma reddish yellow, darker in the front, with sparse hairs. Clypeus wide, almost 3 diameters of median eyes. Legs uniformly reddish yellow. Opisthosoma greyish to reddish yellow.

Body length female: 7-7.5 mm
Additional information

In dry habitats, under stones, rock crevices. Often in and around houses and buildings.

This species can bite humans, as also all other Loxosceles species in the world. In contrast to all other spider bites, this bite does not cause pain but could cause necrotic lesions. Most bites cause moderate local itchiness and redness, self-healing without complications within short time. Severer cases are rare and may include necrotic injuries, sometimes healing only after months. However, such cases are rare for this European species.

Since a few decades, this species shows some spreading tendencies within Europe. Nevertheless, it shall not be listed as alien or invasive because it is native for Europe.

Troglophile species (Mammola et al. 2018)

  Not established
  No data
Global distribution (WSC 2019): Southern Europe, northern Africa to Iran. Introduced to USA, Mexico, Macaronesia, South Africa, India, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand, Australia, Hawaii
 male  female
Females also in spring.

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

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Mammola S, Cardoso P, Ribera C, Pavlek M, Isaia M (2018b) A synthesis on cave-dwelling spiders in Europe. Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 56: 301-316 pdf

Nentwig W, Gnädinger M, Fuchs J, Ceschi A (2013) A two year study of verified spider bites in Switzerland and a review of the European spider bite literature. Toxicon 73: 104-110

Pantini P, Isaia M (2018) Checklist of the Italian spiders (version June 2018). online at pdf

Pfliegler W A, Schönhofer A, Niedbała W, Vella P, Sciberras A, Vella A (2017) New records of mites (Acari) and harvestmen (Opiliones) from Malta with a preliminary checklist of Maltese Arachnida. Soil Organisms 89: 85-110 pdf

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

04-06-2019 Datasheet update Old value
02-02-2017 Image insert
29-12-2016 Distribution update Old value
22-06-2016 Distribution update Old value
26-11-2013 Datasheet update Old value