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Males are up to 11 mm long, females can reach up to 20 millimetres (0.79 in). Males have a black prosoma and a strikingly red opisthosoma with four black dots (sometimes with white lining), resembling a Ladybird. The black legs have white stripes, the hind legs are partly red. Females are black with some white hairs, only the front is sometimes yellow.
These spiders live in up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long underground tubes with a diameter of about one centimetre. On top they are much wider and lined with cribellate silk. Many webs can usually be found in the same place, sometimes up to ten on a single square metre. E. cinnaberinus mainly catches millipedes and beetles. Males walk around during September, searching for females. If it finds one, it lives with the female in her tube, and they feed from the same web.
While we were climbing at the south of France, this very beautiful spider crossed my trail. Unfortunately I had no macro lens at hand, so I had to use a telelens to shoot these pictures.
Spotted on Jul 25, 2012
Submitted on Dec 18, 2012
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