Tube spiders

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Tube spiders
Adult male of the red tube spider (Eresus kollari)

Adult male of the red tube spider ( Eresus kollari )

Class : Arachnids (arachnida)
Order : Spiders (Araneae)
Subordination : Real spiders (Araneomorphae)
Partial order : Entelegynae
Superfamily : Eresoidea
Family : Tube spiders
Scientific name
CL Koch , 1845

The tube spiders (Eresidae) are a family of the real spiders (Araneomorphae) and belong to the superfamily Eresioidea . The family comprises a total of 92 species in 9 genera (as of May 2016). In Central Europe, several members of the genus are Eresus home.


The tube spiders are short-legged and have a stocky build. You have eight eyes, four of which form a square at the corners of the head area. The others form a small square in the middle of the forehead.



In Europe , several species of the genus Eresus as well as the species Adonea fimbriata in Greece and Stegodyphus lineatus in Greece, Italy and the Iberian Peninsula are common.

The red tube spider ( Eresus kollari ) has many subspecies. In 2008 Eresus moravicus and Eresus sandaliatus were spun off. The separation of further subspecies is possible. In Central Europe, the red tube spider prefers continental heat islands or south-facing, sandy and unforested dry areas and is more common than previously assumed. Find locations are for example Kyffhäuser , Lausitz , Lüneburg Heath .

Way of life

The members of this family dig up to 10 cm deep tubes of one centimeter in diameter, which are papered with silk. In contrast to the wallpaper spiders (Atypidae) they do not weave a catch hose, but a funnel, often with an umbrella over the entrance of their burrow, which is attached to the ground with threads and in which the prey is caught. The animal in the tube is alerted by the vibrations. Beetles are often found in the webs, but also hunting spiders.

Reproduction and Propagation Strategies

The Central European tube spiders sometimes live in family colonies ( aggregation ) in earth tubes. Since the number of surviving offspring per clutch is usually less than 80, they are dependent on a safe method of spreading and spread on foot near the mother net.

The female of the red tube spider becomes sexually mature after three years and does not leave her tube until mating. The adult males go on a journey and look for a sexually mature female. The female packs 80 eggs in a lens-shaped cocoon , which is camouflaged with prey residues and soil particles and thus has a lower albedo . The 1 cm package is carried out into the sun during the day and back into the tube in the evening to protect against the nightly cold of the sparsely vegetated sandy soils ( radiation ).

The young hatch in the cave. They shed their skin there several times. During this time, the mother animal dies and is eaten by the offspring. After the mother's death, they leave the hole in the ground and spread around the area.

In contrast, the spread in southern Europe occurring Eresus walckenaeri with 800 to 900 offspring per female over the lossy Ballooning . The young animals direct their abdomen into the wind and produce a thread that can bring them to new habitats far away with the wind. This behavior can be achieved with a cold air blower. It is believed that tube spiders have reached such remote habitats as islands ( Aegean Sea ) and mountains and were able to differentiate into other species there because of the isolation on individual islands.


The World Spider Catalog currently lists 9 genera and 92 species for tube spiders. (As of May 2016)

Web links

Commons : Tube spiders (Eresidae)  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files


  • Heiko Bellmann : Cosmos Atlas Arachnids of Europe. Extra: freshwater crabs, woodlice and millipedes . 3. Edition. Franckh-Kosmos, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 978-3-440-10746-1 , pp. 38-42 .
  • Ambros Hännggi, Edi Stöckli, Wolfgang Nentwig: Habitats of Central European Spiders . Miscallanea faunistica Helvetiae. Center suisse de cartographie de la faune, CH-2000 Neuchâtel 1995, ISBN 2-88414-008-5
  • Stefan Heimer, Wolfgang Nentwig: Spinning Central Europe . Paul Parey, Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-489-53534-0
  • Thomas Baumann: Population ecological and cenotic studies on the importance of habitat quality and habitat fragmentation for spider populations on dry grass using the example of Eresus cinnaberinus (Oliv. 1789) . Verlag Wissenschaft und Technik, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-89685-436-4

Individual evidence

  1. a b Natural History Museum of the Burgergemeinde Bern: World Spider Catalog Version 17.0 - Eresidae . Retrieved May 1, 2016.