The Lady Bird Spider used to have the name of Eresus niger but nowadays it is called Eresus cinnaberinus. It is a member of the Erisidae family. This spider is very rare and is protected in some countries. The name “Lady Bird” comes from the appearance of the adult male seen in this picture. He only gets this colouring at his last change of skin.
The Lady Bird Spider makes a single tube of silk on the ground and lays her eggs in a cocoon. In the day time, she brings out the cocoon to let it get warm and returns it to the tube at night.
The male spiders become adult in the Autumn or in the Spring and then start wandering about looking for mates. The female can stay in the tube for up to four years.
The females are not as brightly coloured as the males.
Pictures: Allessandro Cagnolati from Rome
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