Status: 02.10.2023, 04:45 a.m.
By: Mick Oberbusch
The Nosferatu spider is back in North Rhine-Westphalia – but how do you recognize it at all? 24RHEIN has summarized the most important features.
Cologne – It has already been spotted in a number of cities in North Rhine-Westphalia and can be seen in apartments, especially in spring and autumn. It causes disgust among many people: The Nosferatu spider is currently appearing more and more in NRW, as it did last autumn. According to the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union of North Rhine-Westphalia (NABU NRW), the spider only lived in the Mediterranean region until 20 years ago, but is now also settled in NRW. So many people in Germany's most populous state are wondering how they can recognize the spider with the concise name in the wild (or their own homes). Because: The spider is poisonous. Their bite, although quite harmless, is quite unpleasant.
This is how you can recognize the Nosferatu spider
- Legs: eight (as in all arachnids), hairy, ringed
- Size (without legs): 1 to 1.9 centimeters
- Special features: yellowish-black in color, marking on the front body resembles a skull (or, depending on the perspective, the character Nosferatu from the silent film classic of the same name), black spot on abdomen, robust physique
- Is the Nosferatu spider poisonous? Yes, but their bite is not dangerous for humans and feels something like a wasp or mosquito bite
- Other special features: Does not build a net, can also run on very smooth surfaces
The Nosferatu spider is just one of several spider species that are common in NRW - but not only because of its spectacular name, it is likely to be particularly well known among people in NRW. Incidentally, the spider gets its name from the characteristic drawing on its back, which reminds some of the character "Nosferatu" from the 1922 silent film classic of the same name, which is based on Bram Stoker's horror novel "Dracula". Many people are also likely to feel creepy if they observe one of the various snake species living in NRW.
The Nosferatu spider is back in North Rhine-Westphalia – and easily recognizable by some of its features. © fotototo/Imago
Venomous Nosferatu Spider vs. Large house angle spider: how do they differ?
The Nosferatu spider resembles a spider species that appears very frequently in homes in Germany and North Rhine-Westphalia: the non-venomous house angle spider. But there are clear distinguishing features:
|Nosferatu Spider||Large house angle spider|
|Legs||eight, hairy, ringed||eight, hairy, ringed or spotted|
|Appearance/features||Yellowish-black colored, marking on the front body resembles skull/Nosferatu, black spot on abdomen, robust physique||Dyed brown, round abdomen, soft hair|
|Size (without legs)||1 to 1.9 centimeters||1.0 to 1.6 centimeters|
|Bite||Not dangerous, bite resembles mosquito or wasp sting||Not dangerous|
|Particularities||Does not build a net, can walk on smooth surfaces||Lives in a web, can not walk on smooth surfaces, longer legs than Nosferatu spider (eight to 10 centimeters)|
Nosferatu spider more common in North Rhine-Westphalia – it pursues its prey and then strikes
"A special feature is that the Nosferatu spider can even hold on to vertical glass panes. This is made possible by special adhesive hair on the legs," NABU continues. Although Zoropsis spinimana, the scientific name of the Nosferatu spider, is one of the web spiders, it does not build webs to catch its prey. Instead, it pursues its prey and then advances in a flash. But she can still spin threads: she weaves her eggs into a cocoon and into a large web of curly threads and guards them. (mo) Tip: Fair and reliable information about what is happening in NRW – subscribe to our free 24RHEIN newsletter here.