Spiders on La Gomera and other Canary islands.

On a trip in february 2006 on La Gomera I discovered a pocket guide: Natural history of the Canary Islands written by David Bramwell and Juan Manuel López and to my surprise some of the pages were dedicated to spiders.

The arachnids on the Canary islands are well studied (by Wunderlich) and there are over 150 different species identified.
The most astounding presence is the lady bird spider. Because I could not find her I placed look alikes.

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Click on a picture for more information.




Steatoda grossa

Size : 10 mm

Habitat: In in outside houses and buildings on all canary islands except La Palma and Fuerteventura.


Oecobius species female

Size : 2.5 mm

Habitat: In and around houses. Spider sits on the wall sometimes under cover of a small circular web.


Oecobius species male

Size : 2.5 mm

Habitat: In and around houses. Spider sits on the wall sometimes under cover of a small circular web.
Seven different Oecobius species are identified on this island.

Oecobius caesaris Wunderlich, 1987
Oecobius dolosus Wunderlich, 1987
Oecobius gomerensis Wunderlich, 1979
Oecobius hayensis Wunderlich, 1992
Oecobius persimilis Wunderlich, 1987
Oecobius rugosus Wunderlich, 1987
Oecobius similis Kulczynski, 1909



Orb weaver

Aculepeira annulipes ( by GPT)


Orb weaver

Araneus bufo ( by GPT)


Orb weaver

Neoscona species ZZ436 ( by GPT)


Argiope lobata


Argiope trifasciata

Size : female 15 mm, male 5 mm

Habitat: Between grass and heather all over the island. Large web ofter with a white banded zig zag.


Araniella maderiana ( by GPT)


Agelena canariensis or Agelena gomerensis

Builds a sheet web with a tubular retreat.

Size : 9 mm

Habitat: Dry areas amongst vegetation.


Arctosa cinerea

Size : 12 -14 mm M, 14 - 17 mm F

Habitat: On sandy or stony riverbeds or lakesides.


Cyrtophora citricola
Prickly pear spider, tent-web spider, dome-web spider.
The spider belongs to the family Araneidae, the orb-web weaving spiders, but constructs a totally different web.
The spider makes a large irregular web with a dome/tent shape in the center under which she hangs with her egg-sacs

Size : 9 mm

Habitat: common spider found on all seven Canary islands.


Dysdera crocata Male

Size : 9 -13 mm



Dysdera crocata Female
The spider is nocturnal and has a bad reputation because she can give a bite with her long jaws. These two spider were very gently to me and very docile. They feed on woodlice using their long jaws to penetrate the armour.

Size : 11 -17 mm

Habitat: Under stones around building and old walls.

Eresus sandaliatus


Eresus female


Size : Male 12 mm, female 40 mm

One Eresus species appears on only La Gomera and is named; Eresus crassitibialis descibed by Wunderlich in 1987.

Shown are a look-alike male and female to have an impression how they look.

Habitat: Colonial species present only on La Gomera.

Eresus male and female around nest.


Nigma puella top female, bottom male
formerly Heterodyctina puella

Size : 3 mm
The spider lives on leaves when she spins a web like on the picture.

Habitat: Gardens and humid areas.

Male Latrodectus tredecimguttatus

Female Latrodectus tredecimguttatus

<---- Male


Latrodectus tredecimguttatus, viuda negra, black widow

This genus that belongs to the large family Theriididae that contains thirty described Latrodectus species. They live in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. The spider spins a web in protected corners of fields, gardens, near stones and woodpiles and in vegetation. They are rarely found indoors.

Size : female 8-10 mm, male 2-4 mm

Habitat: Dry sandy areas.

<---- Female


Paidiscura orotavensis ( by GPT)

a few mm long


Pholcus phalangioides, vibrating spider, "daddy long leg"

Size : up to 20 mm

Habitat: Lives in untidy webs in de corners of buildings.


Cladyens insignis ( by GPT)

Size : up to 15 mm

Habitat: Forests between grass and heather.


Pisaura mirabilis

Size : up to 15 mm

Habitat: Forests between grass and heather.


Zygiella x-notata

Size : 6 mm

Habitat: mostly around houses preferable on window frames.


Oxipidae, Lynx spider

Oxyopes kraepelinorum ( by GPT)

Habitat: On low vegetation


Mangora acalypha

Size : 3 - 4 mm

Habitat: On low vegetation



Unknown species ( by GPT)

Habitat: Under stones and leaf-litter


Drassodes lapidosus

Size : 9 - 18 mm

Habitat: Under stones and leaf-litter



Crab spider

Size: +/- 5 mm

Ozyptila tenerifensis ( by GPT)


Harvest man

Bunochelis spinifera ( by GPT)

Harvestmen have an oval shaped body. The front and back of the body is grown together in contrast to spiders where the front and back end is separated by a stalk (pedicel).
They have two eyes in the middle of their head looking sideways. They are also known as "harvestmen". Most of the harvestmen have long legs, but not all.
Harvestman do not have booklungs but breath through trachea only.

They should not be confused with the " daddy longlegs " (Pholcidae).





Natural history of the Canary Islands by David Bramwell and Juan Manuel López, ISBN 84-7207-119-7

Collins Field guide by M.J. Roberts, ISBN 0-00-219981-5

Latrodectus tredecimguttatus, Europe, Croatia, photo by K. Korlevic, Wikipedia


( GPT) Pictures made by Gustavo Peña Tejera

Ed Nieuwenhuys, 31 october 2010
29 september 2009, 1 january 2007, February 2006