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Rabbit hutch spider - Steatoda bipunctata - Female
Rabbit hutch spider - Steatoda bipunctata - Female

Rabbit hutch spider
The rabbit hutch spider (Steatoda bipunctata) belongs to the order spiders (Araneae), suborder Araneomorphae (also: Labidognatha), series Entelegynae, superfamily Araneoidea, the family Cobweb spiders (Theridiidae) and to the genus Steatoda. This species is widespread throughout the Holarctic ecozone and is encountered commonly in Central Europe. Rabbit hutch spiders reproduce twice a year and are non-endangered.
Rabbit hutch spider - Steatoda bipunctata
Rabbit hutch spider - Steatoda bipunctata
Adults can reach body lengths of up to 8 mm; the females are usually 5-7 mm in length, the males, 5 mm. The body of the rabbit hutch spider, especially the males, is flat. The body colour varies from shades of red to brown. A distinctive characteristic is the oily sheen, which originates from their bodies and earns them their name with regards to the latin name. While females are generally reddish brown in colour, the males are rather darker brown. The underside of the body is pale brown. The entire body and limbs are covered in fine light hair, the thickness of which can only really be seen under a microscope.
Steatoda bipunctata - Rabbit hutch spider
Steatoda bipunctata - Rabbit hutch spider
The front part of the body (prosoma) of the males is equipped with strikingly long pedipalps and a distinct organ for producing sound. The latter consists of numerous parallel grooves located at the rear sides of the prosoma. Rabbit hutch spiders are the only native species able to generate sound, which they do by rubbing a sharp edge on their abdomen against the parallel grooves on their front body. The upperside of the malesí prosoma is reddish brown to dark brown in colour and is covered in punctiform grooves.
The abdomen (opisthosoma) of the rabbit hutch spider is flatter than the prosoma and that of the males has a sharp edge at the front. While the upper surface of the rear part of the femalesí body is usually purplish -brown, dark brown or, in rarer cases, yellowish-brown in colour, the males are darker and have a clear oily sheen. On the side of the upper surface is a small bright yellow to off-white stripe, which sometimes has an indistinct marking on it. This can be completely absent on the body of the males. The females have two white spots which develop with age into two broad stripes. Near the outer sex organ (epigyne) - the females have a white spot, flanked by bright stripes.
The legs of the rabbit hutch spider are red in colour with brown rings. Due to their appearance they can be confused with Steatoda castanea.

The rabbit hutch spider can live several years. In Central Europe they tend to stay in one place and are found throughout the year, most commonly in the living rooms of humans, although they also live outdoors. They are found at altitudes of up to 2000 metres ; in the mountains niches are one of their habitats of preference. In addition, these spiders are found in alley trees. Rabbit hutch spiders search for dark areas in residential buildings, basements and barns and survive in extremely warm, dry rooms when other spider species are long gone.
The rabbit hutch spider is active at night and moves back into narrow cavities in the daytime, as it is very shy The females prey on small insects (mosquitoes, flies or other species of spiders) which they either capture in their k web, or restrain on the ground. They are capable of overwhelming prey much larger than themselves likehouse spiders, for example. Males usually wander around.
The females mostly spin webs in dark corners, on ceilings or in window frames. The rabbit hutch spider is very undemanding and can survive a long time without food or drink. Mating happens in spring and autumn and including courtship, can take several days to weeks to complete, and can also occur with 2 male spiders simultaneously.
The females lay purplish-pink eggs in cocoons, at the edge of their web. The females watch over and care for their brood until the young hatch and become independent.

Steatoda bipunctata
Common namesRabbit Hutch Spider
German namesFettspinne, Zweipunkt-Fettspinne
Dutch namesKoffieboonspin
Danish namesFedtedderkop
Swedish namesFettspindel
AuthorCarl von Linné (Carl Nilsson Linnæus), 1758

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (English Midlands (East Midlands (Leicestershire))))), Ireland), Germany (West Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia)), Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Fennoscandia (Finland), Baltic region (Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania))), West Europe (Austria, France, Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)), South Europe (Italy (Italy Islands (Sicily), North Italy, South Italy), Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal)), Central Europe (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic (Moravia, Bohemia), Slovakia), Southeast Europe (Romania, Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro (Serbia), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia), Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Moldova), East Europe (Ukraine, Belarus)
West Asia (Near East (Turkey))
South America
North America
Canada, USA

Ecozones: Holarctic

CountriesAlbania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesSteatoda bipunctata in
Steatoda bipunctata in
Steatoda bipunctata in
Steatoda bipunctata in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Rabbit hutch spider - Steatoda bipunctata - Female
2. Rabbit hutch spider - Steatoda bipunctata
3. Steatoda bipunctata - Rabbit hutch spider
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Steatoda bipunctata
Rabbit Hutch Spider
AuthorLinnaeus, 1758
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