The Nosferatu spider spreads in Germany | Sciences

Invasive species

The Nosferatu spider is widespread in Germany

09/11/2022, 09:01

| Reading time: 2 minutes

The Nosferatu spider has now also been reported from Lower Saxony.

Photo: Robert Weifel/Naboo/DPA

Hanover
It is very large, hairy and has long legs: the Nosferatu spider, which actually comes from the south, is seen in more and more German regions. You have to know one thing about the animal.

A harmless eight-legged creature with a fearsome name: the Nosferatu spider is widespread in Germany. According to information from environmentalists, the spider, which actually comes from the Mediterranean and is basically harmless, has arrived in Lower Saxony. There are reports from Hanover, Göttingen and Osnabrück, but the spider has also been seen several times in Oldenburg and East Frisia, according to the Nature Conservation Union in Lower Saxony (Nabu). The species was first discovered in Germany in 2005 and has spread widely since then.

The spider’s name goes back to the distinctive graphic on its back, which reminds us of the movie character Nosferatu from the classic silent film of the same name, the first film based on the novel “Dracula.” This species (Zoropsis spinimana) belongs to the family of curly hunting spiders, has a body length of one to two centimeters and a leg length of about five centimeters.

Came as a holiday souvenir

“Probably the first Nosferatu spiders found in Germany were holiday souvenirs that later multiplied in shelter homes,” said Fredrik Eggers, head of the Nature and Environmental Protection Team in Lower Saxony. “Climate change and associated mild winters now favor the spread of animals.” In this country, the Nosferatu spider, which hunts its prey without a net, is found mainly on the walls of the house or garden sheds, on balconies and terraces.




along with that Nature Watchers Network Naboo collects data from views on the platform. This should allow documenting the occurrence of this species and the factors affecting its distribution, Eggers said.


Compare the sting to a bee or wasp sting

According to Nabu, there is no need to be overly afraid of a spider, even if, like all spiders, it uses poison to stun its prey. Unlike most species of spiders that live in Germany, they can penetrate human skin with their bite tools. But a sting in humans can be compared to a bee or wasp sting – provided that there is no allergy. The Naboo expert said the bite usually only occurs when the spider feels threatened. So you should not hold them with your bare hands, but put a glass on top of them, push a piece of thin cardboard under the glass and move the animal outside.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220911-99-713764 / 3 (dpa)


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