Amaurobius ferox

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Amaurobius ferox
Black Lace Weaver (Amaurobius ferox).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Amaurobiidae
Genus: Amaurobius
A. ferox
Binomial name
Amaurobius ferox

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 species can be found in dark areas, such as under logs or in cellars.[2]

The female of this species is around 16 millimetres (0.63 in) 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 millimetres (0.43 in)) 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 people.[3]

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.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b "Taxon details Amaurobius ferox (Walckenaer, 1830)", World Spider Catalog, Natural History Museum Bern, retrieved 2016-10-24
  2. ^ "Black lace-weaver". BBC. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Nentwig, W; Gnädinger, M; Fuchs, J; Ceschi, A (2013). "A two year study of verified spider bites in Switzerland and a review of the European spider bite literature". Toxicon. 73: 104–110. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2013.07.010.
  4. ^ Horel, K; André, K-W (2010). "Matriphagy in the Spider Amaurobius ferox (Araneidae, Amaurobiidae): an Example of Mother-Offspring Interactions". Ethology. 104 (12): 1021–1037. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.1998.tb00050.x.
  5. ^ Kim, KW; Roland, C; Horel, A (2000). "Functional Value of Matriphagy in the Spider Amaurobius ferox". Ethology. 106 (8): 729–742. doi:10.1046/j.1439-0310.2000.00585.x.


  • Preston-Mafham, Ken (1998). Spiders: Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Angus Books. ISBN 978-1-904594-93-2.