Hesse: Nosferatu spider on the road in Hesse

Photos of a spider that actually lives in the south are coming from all parts of the country.

Hesse: Nosferatu spider on the road in Hesse

Photos of a spider that actually lives in the south are coming from all parts of the country. Like other species, it is spreading in Germany. According to experts, they will not cause any damage here - quite the opposite to other animals and plants.

Frankfurt / Main (dpa / lhe) - Eight legs and a thick, hairy body: A spider that is also spreading in Hesse is currently causing a stir. She got her nickname, Nosferatu Spider, in memory of a classic horror film. The species migrated from warmer areas in the south. From the Rhine, the spiders, who like to live in houses and apartments, have fought their way to Odenwald and Taunus as well as Frankfurt, Fulda and Kassel, as the Nabu has registered.

The environmental association uses the "Naturgucker" platform to collect sightings of Zoropsis spinimana, the scientific name of the spider. Up until 20 years ago, it was only found in the Mediterranean region. In Germany, the characteristic grey-brown-beige patterned spider was first discovered in an apartment in Freiburg in 2005, and has since made it to Bremen and Saxony.

The bodies of these animals, which belong to the group of curl-hunting spiders, can be almost two centimeters long, and the legs can reach a span of around six centimetres. This leaves it behind the large angle spider, which can reach up to ten centimeters. On the other hand, the bite of the Nosferatu spider, like that of the garden spider, can penetrate human skin and trigger symptoms similar to a wasp sting.

While garden spiders rarely get lost in the house, the Nosferatu spider feels at home there - at least it has been discovered in Germany, according to Nabu, mainly in buildings, in the kitchen sink or between pieces of laundry. But nobody has to be afraid, says the spokesman for Nabu Hessen, Berthold Langenhorst. Because the spiders only bite when they feel attacked. So far, she hasn't done any damage other than scaring people who aren't huge fans of spiders.

Species spread beyond their ancestral areas mostly as stowaways in freight traffic, for example along railway lines and motorways. Rising temperatures as a result of the climate crisis make it possible for animals and plants to survive here as well. The Nosferatu spider, after observing the Nabu, migrated up the Rhine track and spread from there.

The species is considered neither invasive nor potentially invasive, as the Hessian State Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG) explains. Invasive plants and animals can severely disrupt the biological balance in their new environment because they often have no predators. As a result, large amounts of damage are caused worldwide every year.

In Hesse, these include various American types of crayfish, such as the signal crayfish, which brought a pathogen with it that dangerously decimated native crayfish species. The invasive animals probably come from garden ponds or aquariums, as the HLNUG explains. There was also concern about the seven-spot ladybird, which was harassed by the Asian harlequin ladybird - but ultimately held its own, as Nabu spokesman Langenhorst reports.

In the case of the Nosferatu spider, too, major damage is not to be expected, says Langenhorst. Although they have the same habitat as angle spiders in Germany - in buildings - there is room for both species there.

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