First record of Zoropsis spinimana on Terceira Island!

"The presence of the exotic spider Zoropsis spinimana has been confirmed on Terceira Island. After its identification in Faial and Pico in 2009 and 2013, we now have identified an individual from Praia da Vitória (Terceira Island).

This demonstrates that the free expansion of exotic species in the Azores continues, without any effective control at ports and airports.

This species is native to the Mediterranean region, and in the last 20 years there has been register of an expansion that includes Central Europe and Russia, and it is already introduced in North America. It has a body of about 2 cm and up to 5 cm including the legs. The central part of its body (prosoma) is brown with large darker spots. The abdomen (opistossoma) has black marks in the upper zone. The legs are brown in color, speckled with black spots. Although this species is harmless, its size can cause alarm, even if unfounded. This species is not aggressive nor presents a risk to health. Its bite has no medical importance. You can be found in areas with human activity, under bark and in trunks and old woods, where the coloring allows great camouflage. They are usually sighted in homes, where they seek refuge. Here their camouflage is not effective and are easily identifiable. They are most active at night, remaining still during the day.

If you find a spider that can match this description, we ask you to put it in a vial, and contact the University of the Azores to confirm the identification and add the new location. You can contact the Azorean Biodiversity Group via e-mail:

For more information about their ecology and behavior, see the page of our partner Naturdata: "