Chaetopelma olivaceum

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Chaetopelma olivaceum
PikiWiki Israel 30650 Chaetopelma olivaceum.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Theraphosidae
Genus: Chaetopelma
C. olivaceum
Binomial name
Chaetopelma olivaceum
(C. L. Koch, 1841)[1]
  • Mygale olivacea C. L. Koch, 1841
  • Ischnocolus gracilis Ausserer, 1871
  • Ischnocolus syriacus Ausserer, 1871
  • Chaetopelma aegyptiaca Ausserer, 1871
  • Avicularia tetramera Simon, 1873
  • Avicularia striatocauda Simon, 1873
  • Nemesia concolor Simon, 1873
  • Ischnocolus striatocauda (Simon, 1873)
  • Cratorrhagus tetramera (Simon, 1873)
  • Cratorrhagus tetramerus Reimoser, 1919
  • Chaetopelma shabati Hassan, 1950
  • Cratorrhagus tetrameris Bonnet, 1956
  • Chaetopelma adenense Smith, 1990
  • Chaetopelma aegyptiacum Smith, 1990
  • Ischnocolus jerusalemensis Smith, 1990
  • Chaetopelma anatolicum Schmidt & Smith, 1995
  • Chaetopelma gracile Vollmer, 1997

Chaetopelma olivaceum is a species of mygalomorph spider, belonging to the tarantula family (Theraphosidae). It has many synonyms, including Ischnocolus jerusalemensis.[1] Common names used include black furry,[2] black tarantula and Middle East gold.[3]

Range and habitat[edit]

The species is found in Cyprus, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt and the Middle East.[1] It is very common inside homes in Israel.[4]


The body length is approximately 2.5 cm for adult males and 5 cm or larger for females.[5] It is one of the largest spiders in Israel.[2] The color varies between black, gray and brown dark; they tend to be paler in the cooler more forested regions of their range and darker in the southern more arid areas.[4]

The body is covered with tiny hairs and is shiny and velvety. There are variations in appearance and size throughout the range. Their food consists of insects and even small mice and young lizards.

The species is sexually dimorphic: the female is larger than the male.


Black furry, Jerusalem, 20151105

The species is active mainly at night. In the wild they can be found hiding under rocks or bark, but may reach human-occupied areas during migrations. When the spider feels threatened, it lifts its front torso, swinging its feet to expose a red stain on its mouth and claws. If the threat continues the spider will turn and look for a place to hide. C. olivaceum has been reported as living in large colonies and this has been observed in the burial caves around Jerusalem and reported from dried up wells in the Jordan Valley.[4]

Relation to humans[edit]

This spider is not considered dangerous to humans and helps eliminate pests such as cockroaches. It is black, furry, fast and aggressive in respect to other types of tarantulas. Bites are unpleasant but mild. They are sometimes kept as pets.


In Israel two species of spider wasp, Hemipepsis brunnea and Pseudopompilus humboldti, have been recorded as predators on Chaetopelma olivaceum.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Taxon details Chaetopelma olivaceum (C. L. Koch, 1841)", World Spider Catalog, Natural History Museum Bern, retrieved 2016-04-09
  2. ^ a b "פרוונית שחורה". Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  3. ^ "Chaetopelma olivaceum (C.L. Koch, 1841)". Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  4. ^ a b c "Notes on Chaetopalme olivaceum by Yinnin Dolev". Archived from the original on 16 October 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  5. ^ Strand, E. (1907). "Aviculariidae und Atypidae des Kgl. Naturalienkabinetts in Stuttgart". Jahreshefte des Vereins für vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg (in German). 63: 1–100. pp. 21–22
  6. ^ "The Spider and the Wasp". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 19 September 2016.