Importance and distribution in Luxembourg
Cheiracanthium punctorium was first documented in 1988 at the nature conservation reserve Aarnescht near Oberanven, municipality of Niederanven (Hermann 1998). Only two observations of the species are documented in the Recorder database, the first from 2000 (Aarnescht near Oberanven, municipality of Niederanven), the second from 2014 (Haard, municipality of Dudelange).
Cheiracanthium punctorium lives in grasslands with preferably high-growing stalks. The species is rather thermophile and therefore geographically restricted to the south of Luxembourg. Most observations have been made in dry grassland in the Moselle-valley. Climate warming may favour further spread of the species. Being rather similar to several native Cheiracanthium species in its biology, C. punctorium should have no greater influence on the composition of native prey species in a colonised biotope. There may however be a certain competition with similar predators.
The species is known as quite aggressive when disturbed, especially pregnant or egg-protecting females. The chelicerae (fangs) of bigger individuals can easily penetrate through human skin and inject their venom. A bite of C. punctorium is painful and causes itching and swellings, sometimes stronger reactions like vertigo, nausea, shivering, circulatory collapse and light fever. The symptoms usually decline after 24-30 hours. As the species leads a rather hidden life-style, the probability for bites should be rather small. There is a certain, but unfortunately sometimes overstated, media exposure of the species and its venomousness.
ISEIA protocol: C2 (2+2+2+1) (Ries et al. 2017: 68).
Bibliography concerning Luxembourg
- Hermann, E., 1998. Die Spinnen (Araneae) ausgewählter Halbtrockenrasen im Osten Luxemburgs. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 99: 189-199. [PDF 165KB]
- Ries, C., A. Arendt, C. Braunert, S. Christian, A. Dohet, A. Frantz, G. Geimer, M. Hellers, J. A. Massard, X. Mestdagh, R. Proess, N. Schneider & M. Pfeiffenschneider, 2017. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of invertebrates in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 119: 63-70. [PDF 360 KB]
- Schneider, N., 2003. Auf Spurensuche. 22. Op der Aarnescht. Regulus 12/03: 22
- Thiel, M., 2016. Ein unheimlicher Zuwanderer. Eine südeuropäische Giftspinne zieht zunehmend nach Norden. Luxemburger Wort, 14.9.2016.
Last updated on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.