8mm Mediterranean Jumping Spider (Menemerus semilimbatus) found on a wall by our hotel swimming pool in Paphos, Cyprus in May 2019.

Mediterranean Jumping Spider  -  (Menemerus semilimbatus)
Menemerus semilimbatus is a species of Mediterranean Jumping Spider found in Asia, Africa, USA, South America and Europe. Females can have a body-length of up to 9mm and males slightly less. They are usually found living in stone or brick walls but can also be found on trees. This specimen was found on a brick wall by the swimming pool of our hotel in Paphos.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3


8mm Mediterranean Jumping Spider (Menemerus semilimbatus) found on a wall by our hotel swimming pool in Paphos, Cyprus in May 2019.








12mm female Pantropical Jumping Spider   (Plexippus paykulli)
Pantropical Jumping Spider   (Plexippus paykulli)
A Large Jumping Spider with a typical body-length of around 10mm, however the female specimen pictured above was particularly large at 12mm. These were photographed in May in Paphos. They were fairly common and found under many discarded items I turned over in a piece of wasteland near our beachfront hotel. This species will prey on a variety of insects which it often overpowers with its strength before the venom from its bite has time to take effect. Their bite to humans is said to be highly irritant. 




Female Pantropical Jumping Spider (Plexippus paykulli) found on wasteland by Paphos Beach on 7th May 2020.






Female Pantropical Jumping Spider   (Plexippus paykulli)








Female Pantropical Jumping Spider (Plexippus paykulli) found under rubbish bags dumped on wasteland by Paphos Beach on 15th May 2019.








Jumping Spider (Macaroeris sp.) found on a palm tree by the beach in Paphos, Cyprus on 7th May 2018.

Macaroeris spJumping Spider  
Small Jumping Spiders with a body-length of around 5-7mm, found in much of Southern Europe including: Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Southern Russia and Ukraine. There are previous records of Macaroeris nidicolens in Paphos, Cyrpus but it has been suggested that my spider looks more like Macaroeris flavicomis which is the only species of Macaroeris found in Turkey. If my spider was confirmed as Macaroeris flavicomis, which is perfectly possible, then that would have been a new species record for Cyprus.




Jumping Spider (Macaroeris sp.) photographed on a palm tree by the beach in Paphos, Cyprus on 7th May 2018. 








Female False Widow Spider (Steatoda paykullianafound under a large rock on wasteland by Paphos Beach on 7th May 2018.

False Widow Spider   (Steatoda paykulliana)

Steatoda paykulliana have a body-length of around 15mm and a leg-span of up to 35mm.

Steatoda paykulliana is a new species sometimes found in the UK from the Mediterranean. It usually finds its way to the UK in amongst grapes and other fruit. At the moment in the UK this species has only been found in areas around Plymouth and Tilbury Docks in Essex.



Female False Widow Spider   (Steatoda paykulliana)

This female specimen is unusually skinny due to it having just produced and egg-sac, which it was guarding when I found it under a large rock. These spiders can have a red, yellow or white band around the abdomen.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4



Female False Widow Spider (Steatoda paykullianafound under a large rock by Paphos Beach on 15th May 2019.








Large female European Tarantula  (Chaetopelma olivaceum / Chaetopelma gracile)
European Tarantula  (Chaetopelma olivaceumChaetopelma gracile)
Chaetopelma olivaceum is sometimes referred to as the Black Tarantula or Middle-East Gold Tarantula, and is the largest of the few species of Tarantula that can be found within Europe. In Cyprus there are two native species of Tarantula on the island, Chaetopelma olivaceum and Chaetopelma karlamani.

Male Chaetopelma olivaceum usually grow to a body-length of 25mm and females 35-50mm. On occasion some specimens can even reach 60mm body-length with a leg-span of over 100mm. European Tarantulas hunt at night feeding on small invertebrates with millipedes being a favourite. Sometimes small mice and lizards also become prey. During the daytime the European Tarantula hides away under rocks or in stone walls and sometimes in loose bark on trees.



Large female European Tarantula  (Chaetopelma olivaceum / Chaetopelma gracile)

Whilst turning over rocks in a forest area along the edge of a stream in Paphos I discovered two European Tarantulas under the same rock. One had a body-length of 2.5cm and the other, which had to be a female had a body-length of 5cm. Once disturbed the small specimen laid on its back and pretended to be dead. The larger female was extremely defensive and immediately raised itself up on its back legs revealing the large fangs and red mouth-parts. It held this position for about 10 minutes and occasionally made stabbing gestures at the ground. I also discovered that this species is very fast moving and is capable of jumping around six inches in order to escape or to defend itself with a bite to a predator.

The bite of the European Tarantula is not usually dangerous to healthy humans and is often considered to be not much worse than a wasp sting. However different people can react differently to the venom and I have read one account, on a spider forum, by a Cypriot who claims to know of a bite victim spending 8 days in hospital following a bite from this species.

European Tarantulas sometimes live in large colonies under rocks. The underside of the rock where I discovered these two specimens was littered with the remains of beetles and other invertebrates.


Threat display by Large female European Tarantula 

European Tarantulas can be found across the Middle-East including Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Sudan. Occasionally these spiders find their way into homes.


LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5



Large female European Tarantula 

Chaetopelma olivaceum and Chaetopelma gracile were once considered to be two different species but are now classed as one and the same.

The term "European Tarantula" can be confusing as the term is also sometimes used to refer to the Tarantula Wolf Spider (Lycosa tarantula)   



Large female European Tarantula  (Chaetopelma olivaceum / Chaetopelma gracile)







Small European Tarantula playing dead.







Small European Tarantula








Female Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver  -  Argiope lobata
Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver    (Argiope lobata)
The Lobed Argiope is a large Orb-Weaver found across Africa, Southern Europe and Asia, and is related to the British Wasp Spider. The female's body-length can be up to 25mm and its leg-span over 50mm. Its bite to humans may be painful but is not considered harmful.




Female Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver  -  Argiope lobata








Male Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver  -  Argiope lobata

This male Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver was photographed in-situ basking on a white pillar next to our hotel swimming pool. As with many spiders the male is far smaller and less impressive than the female.







Banded Garden Spider  -  Argiope trifasciata
Banded Garden Spider    (Argiope trifasciata)
Also known as: Banded Argiope, Banded Orb-Weaver, Whitebacked Garden Spider. The Banded Garden Spider is another relative of the British Wasp Spider and is found in low vegetation or grass in fields, meadows, gardens and besides freshwater streams and rivers. It grows to maximum leg-span of around 35mm and can produce webs up to 60cm. These spiders can be found in Cyprus, Australia, North America, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Spain. As with all Orb-Weaver Spiders its bite is not dangerous to humans.



Banded Garden Spider  -  Argiope trifasciata







Banded Garden Spider  -  Argiope trifasciata









25mm female Stone Huntsman Spider  (Eusparassus walckenaeri)
Stone Huntsman Spider  (Eusparassus walckenaeri)
A large spider usually found under stones in dry areas. Females have a body-length of around 25mm and a leg-span of over 50mm. This Stone Huntsman Spider was found under a large rock up in the hills of Paphos, and is one of the fastest spiders I have ever photographed. It moved at incredible speed for its size.





11mm gravid female Mediterranean Recluse Spider (Loxosceles rufescens) found under a large rock on wasteland by Paphos Beach on 15th May 2019.

Mediterranean Recluse Spider  /  Violin Spider  (Loxosceles rufescens)
This is a small and inconspicuous spider I found under a large rock in Paphos very near to our beachfront hotel. At the time I had no idea that it was a spider of any significance yet alone a Mediterranean Recluse Spider. Males have a body-length of up to 7-8mm and females 7-12mm. Although this species is pretty uncommon and they are rarely encountered by humans, the bite of this spider can be dangerous though and there have been human fatalities recorded. Loxosceles contains 134 spider species and spiders of this genus are the only known spiders with necrotic venom. 

Bites are initially trivial and relatively painless but they progress to local pain, erythema, discolouration, blistering, ulceration and sometimes necrosis and even acute renal failure. Typically a red itchy rash is visible within 24-48 hours after the bite. Classic "bullseye" lesions can then start to occur at the site of the bite, becoming necrotic after seven days and leaving a depressed ulcer. These lesions may take many months to heal and can leave permanent scars to the body tissue. Thankfully the Mediterranean Recluse Spider is not an aggressive species and is reluctant to bite humans so bites are very rare.

The Mediterranean Recluse Spider is originally, as the name suggests, from the Mediterranean, however it can now be found across much of Europe, Asia and America. This spider is sometimes referred to as the Violin Spider, or Fiddleback Spider, due to the brown violin-shaped markings sometimes present on the carapace.
This species builds a small loose web and hides itself away under rocks or logs, under loose low level tree bark or in wall crevices or basements of heated old houses. They are nocturnal wandering hunters and feed or other invertebrates found near their hideaway.

There are several antivenins produced to combat the effects of this spider including Aracmyn, Suero Antiloxoscelico, Soro Antiarachidico. However these antivenins are not generally available in Europe or the USA and are only available in Mexico and South American countries, such as Brazil, where Loxosceles spiders are more common.

The Mediterranean Recluse Spider is identical in appearance to the notorious Brown Recluse Spider and where both species occur in the USA they can only be separated by close examination of the reproductive organs. The venom of both species is very similar.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5    LINK 6    LINK 7    LINK 8


The most dangerous of the Recluse Spiders is the Chilean Recluse Spider, also known as the South American Violin Spider, Loxosceles laeta. The Chilean Recluse Spider is found in several South American Countries and its bite is so dangerous that human fatalities in Peru could be as high as 19% of bite victims over 13 years old and 50% of children under that age.  LINK



female Nursery Web Spider  (Pisaura mirabilis)

Nursery Web Spider  (Pisaura mirabilis)

Nursery Web Spiders are a group of spiders belonging to the family Pisauridae. However this term is usually used to describe the European species Pisaura mirabilisMales usually have a body-length of 10-13mm whilst the female is 12-15mm. These spiders are grey or brown and are similar to Wolf Spiders in that both species can be seen carrying their egg-sac. However unlike the Wolf Spiders which carry their egg-sac attached to their spinnerets at the rear of their body, the Nursery Web Spider uses its jaws and pedipalps to carry the egg-sac beneath its body. The Nursery Web Spider gets its name from its watchful guarding of its young. When the egg is due to hatch it is fixed to a plant and then covered in a silken tent. The adult spider then stands guard over the spiderlings until they have all dispersed from the tent. These spiders do not spin a web to catch their prey. Males will often present the female with a gift before attempting to mate. This practice has shown that the chances of the female eating the male is drastically reduced.