Cheiracanthium punctorium (Villers, 1789)

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Report the species

Report Cheiracanthium punctorium to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Cheiracanthium punctorium (Villers, 1789) lives in grasslands, preferring tall stalks. The species is rather thermophilous 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 some 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, and 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 lifestyle, the probability for bites should be rather small. There is a certain, but unfortunately sometimes overstated, media exposure of the species and its venomousness.

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Cheiracanthium punctorium (Villers, 1789) in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2019-12-13.

Cheiracanthium punctorium (Villers, 1789) was first documented in 1988 at the Aarnescht nature conservation reserve near Oberanven, municipality of Niederanven (Hermann 1998).

Currently, 4 records of the species are accessible through the MNHNL-mdata portal; at the previously mentioned Aarnescht, and also at Roudebierg and Haard near Dudelange (MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF 2019).

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol: C2 (2+2+2+1) (Ries et al. 2017: 68).

Bibliography

  • Hermann, E., 1998. Die Spinnen (Araneae) ausgewählter Halbtrockenrasen im Osten Luxemburgs. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 99: 189-199. [PDF 165KB]
  • MNHNL, 2000-. Cheiracanthium punctorium (Villers, 1789) in Recorder-Lux, database on the natural heritage of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2019-10-24]
  • MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2019. Cheiracanthium punctorium (Villers, 1789) in MNHNL-mdata, online portal combining species observation from Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist and GBIF. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2019-10-24]
  • 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.

 Page content last updated on 2019-12-05. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-12-05.