Triangulate Cobweb Spider


I was taking a quick wander around the garden tonight and I spotted a small rounded spider crawling across a tightrope of silk.

At first I thought it was a European Black Widow but on closer inspection it was an equally cool Triangulate Cobweb Spider.

The scientific name is Steatoda triangulosa. Any spider belonging to the species of Steatoda is known as a False Widow due to the similar size and shape of a Black Widow. This species is not known to have any issues with biting humans but of course as with any spider a rare allergic reaction could occur.

I snapped this quick shot on my smartphone (more information continues below).

These eat other insects and spiders and can even be known to eat the only real problem spider here in Portugal, the Brown Recluse. It also eats ticks! It’s unusual to see one out in the open like this, but suspect I may have disturbed it as I cut back the large Rosemary that grows in the garden earlier today.

The name comes from the triangular patterns on its back. The female can grow to just 6mm in length.

Great News For The Lycosa Tarantula Living Near The House….But What Has She Been Up To!?


After seeing a post on a Facebook wildlife group of a possible sighting of a male Tarantula Wolf Spider, it gave me some enthusiasm to check on one of the local females, one that lives very close to the Quinta. It was quite a surprise……

The Tarantula Wolf Spider, not be confused with the Wolf Spider is the species where the original name Tarantula comes from, rather than post all the information, please see my Algarve Resident Article – Tarantula Wolf Spider.

She was at the entrance to her burrow when I arrived and as normal she wasn’t too bothered about my presence, they are not normally like this!

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Lycosa Tarantula (Female)
Continue reading >>

They Grow Up So Quick!


This is the 2nd Tarantula Wolf Spider burrow that I discovered a while back (more info) and she was considerably smaller than the first one I found which of course is no longer with us.

However, this morning, I took a look to see how she was doing and noticed that she’s enlarged the burrow and weaved a huge new opening. It didn’t take long for her to come and poke herself out to see what I was doing.

Just for scale, the opening is now around 8cm! Also, the new resident down at the river burrow has closed the entrance, so I suspect she is already having babies!

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Tarantula Wolf Spider - Lycosa tarantula
Continue reading >>

Morning Dog Walk: Another Tarantula Has Moved In!


A while back I posted that the first Female Tarantula Wolf Spider that I spotted had since died and that Ants had moved into the burrow.

However, this morning, I noticed something new! The very same burrow now has another weaved opening. This is much smaller than previously so therefore could be one of the offspring from last year who has decided to take the burrow on.

I couldn’t see any activity, but I will continue to monitor, the 2nd burrow I found which is very near to the house has a very active female, I will grab some photos soon.

Continue reading >>

Morning Dog Walk: Swallow Nest, Bee Eaters & My Tarantula Is Possibly Dead!


I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

The area was covered in thick mist this morning but I still decided to take the camera along and I took a stop at an old Well to check if the Barn Swallows had started to use the nest.

IMPORTANT! – It’s never a good idea to approach a nesting bird but in this instance I used the camera’s Live-View with the screen tilted so that I didn’t actually look over the edge of the well!

I pointed the camera like a periscope over the edge of the well and captured this shot of a Swallow already sitting on the nest. It’s both genius and dangerous for them to build this nest here. Of course, no predator can get to the nest, but if the nest falls off it will drop into the water or if a baby falls, it’s going to drown. Of course, when the young fledge, it will be a difficult flight too. This is the 2nd year, they have nested here, so maybe they know what they are doing.

Continue reading >>