According to the results of a study, the Nosferatu spider is significantly more widespread in Germany than previously thought. With the help of a nationwide reporting portal, it was determined that the spider was already widespread in almost all of Germany in 2022, writes the Nature Conservation Association of Germany (Nabu). The invasive species was only rare in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Their territory is more than 2.3 times larger than expected, report Alexander Wirth and Gaby Schulemann-Maier from Nabu-naturgucker in the specialist journal “Frontiers in Arachnid Science”. “These spiders are now likely to have spread even more widely,” Schulemann-Maier is quoted as saying in a Nabu statement.

The Nosferatu spider (Zoropsis spinimana) is one of the largest spiders in Germany and one of the few whose bite can penetrate human skin. The symptoms of a bite are described as comparable to those of a wasp sting. The spider only bites very rarely, when directly threatened.

According to Nabu, the spider reaches a body length of up to two centimeters and a leg span of around five centimeters. Adults and spiderlings are found in Germany all year round. They spend the winter in buildings such as houses or garages. They feed on flies, butterflies and other spiders, which can sometimes be larger than themselves.

The spider, which comes from the Mediterranean region, was first seen in Germany in 2005, according to Nabu. Since then it has spread rapidly. She gets her name because you can supposedly see the face of the vampire Nosferatu from the 1922 silent film on her body.

You can find more invasive species in the photo series: They crawl en masse across streets or live as lodgers in attics: Many animal species live in Germany that originally come from other continents. An overview.