Eresidae (Velvet Spiders)

The Eresidae include some of the most beautiful spiders in Europe. They are sturdily built and males are often strikingly coloured. As well as the Atypidae they live in a solid tubular retreat, which has threads near the opening for catching prey. 13 species occur in Europe.

Genus Eresus

The striking males of this genus appear outside their buried tubular retreat in autumn or spring and start looking for a female. Therefore it is during this period that they can be seen above ground. The females never leave their retreat. At first, the newborn spiders are fed mouth to mouth by their mother, later on they eat together from the captured prey. Eventually the female dies and serves as food for her young herself.