Amaurobius ferox

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Amaurobius ferox
Amaurobius ferox fg01.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Amaurobiidae
Genus: Amaurobius
Species: A. ferox
Binomial name
Amaurobius ferox
(Walckenaer, 1820)

Clubiona ferox
Amaurobius cryptarum
Ciniflo ferox
Ciniflo mordax
Amaurobius mordax
Amaurobius corsicus
Amaurobius peninsulanus

Amaurobius ferox, sometimes known as the black lace-weaver is a spider belonging to the family Amaurobiidae. It is distributed in Europe and North America and has been introduced into New Zealand.

The female of this species is around 16 mm in length (excluding legs). It is very dark brown to black overall. The abdomen is rounded and bears indistinct yellowish markings. The male is similar but smaller (length about 11 mm) and more slender. The eggs are laid in a white sac in a sheltered place. The female usually guards the sac until the eggs have hatched. This species has been known to bite man.[1]

Amaurobius ferox is a matriphagous spider, meaning that the young devour the mother after hatching. First she lays a second set of eggs on which the newly hatched spiders feed. Then a few days later she actively encourages her offspring to devour her. [1]



  • Preston-Mafham, Ken (1998). Spiders: Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Angus Books. ISBN 978-1-904594-93-2. 
  • Kil Won Kim, Chantal Roland, André Horel (2000): Functional Value of Matriphagy in the Spider Amaurobius ferox. Ethology 106(8): 729-742.
  • Platnick, Norman I. (2008): The world spider catalog, version 8.5. American Museum of Natural History.