Kid finds exotic spider in Wallonia

zoropsis-spinimana1.jpg
zoropsis-spinimana2.jpg

Spider workshop in Louvain-la-Neuve school leads to identification of a species never before seen in Wallonia.

Museum arachnologist Arnaud Henrard was giving a workshop on spiders at the École des Bruyères in Louvain-la-Neuve when something unusual caught his eye. Henrard was there to talk about spider biology, their diversity and their usefulness even in our homes for example.

‘One of the children had brought a spider he and his sister had found at home’, he said. ‘They thought it was a common house spider, but I realized that it was in fact an exotic spider called Zoropsis spinimana. It is a large spider that originates from the Mediterranean region.’

This spider has been observed in Flanders several times since 2004, but this is the first record in Wallonia. ‘Spiders are often introduced by accident through transportation of packages, suitcases or containers with goods, for example at the port of Antwerp’, said Henrard. ‘This spider usually lives outside, but it sometimes goes into houses’.

Unlike the vast majority of Belgian spiders, Zoropsis spinimana can bite humans when it feels threatened. But fear not! Although its bite can hurt for a couple of hours, it is harmless to a healthy human being.

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