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Nigma walckenaeri
Nigma walckenaeri

Nigma walckenaeri
Nigma walckenaeri are a species in the genus Nigma, in the order spiders (Araneae), the suborder Araneomorph spiders (Araneomorphae), the division Entelegynae, the superfamily Dictynoidea and the family Dictynidae. Scientific synonyms for Nigma walckenaeri are: Nigma viridissima, Aranea viridissima, Drassus viridissimus, Ergatis viridissima, Argus viridissimus, Dictyna viridissima, Dictyna walckenaeri, Heterodictyna viridissima and Heterodictyna walckenaeri.
Nigma walckenaeri - Front view
Nigma walckenaeri - Front view
Nigma walckenaeri are found in the southwestern Palearctic from Central Europe to North Africa and from Britain to the Middle East. They have not been observed in Ireland, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. In Germany, Nigma walckenaeri are relatively rare and they are only encountered in appropriately warm habitats in any number. It is suspected that Nigma walckenaeri are under threat.
The Nigma walckenaeri is the largest species of Dictynidae in Central Europe. While the females reach body lengths of 4. 5 - 5. 0 mm, the males are 3. 5 - 4. 0 mm in length. They have small groups of white hairs all over their bodies. The front section of the female’s body is yellowish brown to yellow, and the male’s is reddish-brown to brown. The male’s head appears posited markedly higher. The central eyes of these spiders are remarkably small. The front section of the chest (sternum) and the mouthparts are bright yellow in colour.
The rear section of the body (opisthosoma) in both sexes is usually a light green colour with a light green to green shimmer. It may, however, also be covered with white or yellow spots and fine white hair. While the females have plain green legs, the males’ are yellowish-brown. The Nigma walckenaeri can be distinguished from all other Dictynidae spider species by its green abdomen.
Nigma walckenaeri love warmth and were originally mainly found in southern Europe. They are also common in northern Germany where they live almost exclusively in areas inhabited by humans. They prefer gardens or overgrown sunlit facades. Here they can be found on the leaves of herbs, shrubs, and climbing plants (ivy, wild wine), but rarely on such broad-leaf bushes as Syringa (Lilac). Due to its camouflaged appearance the Nigma walckenaeri is difficult to see. In the warmer parts of Europe, it lives in sunny forest edges and in clearings. It can even be found inside buildings.
Nigma walckenaeri are diurnal and can be encountered from August to October (in and around buildings until December). In the morning, after sunrise, they build a transparent tissue, on the upper surface of leaves with upward curving edges, which resembles a tent and serves as a shelter. In order to build a web to catch insects, separate fibres of silk are excreted from the spinnerets into many extremely fine fibres, giving the web a wooly structure.
After mating, the females erect a cocoon for the eggs. The white cocoon is 6 - 7 mm in length and is hidden, at a slight distance from the hideout of the spider. After reaching maturity (after the last moult) the life expectancy of the males is very short, and most die shortly after mating.

Nigma walckenaeri
German namesGrüne Lauerspinne, Fassadenbewohnende Kräuselspinne
Dutch namesGroen kaardertje
AuthorRoewer, 1951

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (English Midlands (East Midlands (Leicestershire)))))), Germany (West Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia)), Scandinavia (Denmark)), West Europe (Austria, France, Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)), South Europe (Italy (Italy Islands (Sicily, Sardinia), North Italy, South Italy), Iberian Peninsula (Spain (Balearic Islands), 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), East Europe (Ukraine)
West Asia (Near East (Turkey))

Ecozones: Palaearctic

CountriesAustria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Taxonomic statusSynonymus of Nigma laeta
Links and ReferencesNigma walckenaeri in
Nigma walckenaeri in
Nigma walckenaeri in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Nigma walckenaeri
2. Nigma walckenaeri - Front view
Quick search: Walckenaeri - Nigma - Body - Spiders - Species - Dictyna
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Nigma walckenaeri
AuthorRoewer, 1951
Aranea viridissima
Argus viridissimus
Dictyna viridissima
Dictyna walckenaeri
Drassus viridissimus
Ergatis viridissima
Heterodictyna viridissima
Heterodictyna walckenaeri
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