I took the following picture of this spider in northern Switzerland (alt: ~700m) with macro flash (then it is not so big: probably around 2-3 cm, including the legs)


This spider made its web on the house and it goes out only during night.

In this region we have many Araneus diadematus, but this one looks totally different.

Is it the same family or another? Does anybody have a clue for the real name?

UPDATE: I saw it this afternoon (gave a fly to the web to make it go out), the body is probably around 7-8 mm wide and 9-11 mm long). And now I am sure the colors are more or less right.

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    $\begingroup$ My guess is that it is a spider from the Tegenaria genus. There are a lot of spiders in this genus, a lot of them are only active at night. And they are common in europe. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ We also have this tegenaria species here but they all look thinner than this one. This one have a big fat body like the Araneus genus (even I guess it can be probably another genus) $\endgroup$
    – рüффп
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe Badumna longinqua (grey house spider) $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2014 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ @TheLastWord Is it not Australian species? do you think it can live in Europe? I have to mention it was taken in a natural environment. $\endgroup$
    – рüффп
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ @ruffp According to this article (publikationen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/…) it is capable of establishing itself in Europe but I would not go as far as to say that this is Badumna longinqua. I went through pictures of some native spiders in Switzerland but could not find a match. Just venturing a guess based on some morphological features like the colour. $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2014 at 9:07

1 Answer 1


I'd guess it's Nuctenea umbratica, or otherwise similar in appearance and coloration pattern, but less frequent Nuctenea silvicultrix.

At least Nuctenea umbratica was recorded in Switzerland.

  • $\begingroup$ It look it was a Nuctenea umbratica by all the pictures on Google. And according to the Bern university site, the distribution of Nuctenea silvicultix does not include Switzerland, but Nuctenea umbratica does. $\endgroup$
    – рüффп
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ @ruffp: I also tend to think it's Nuctenea umbratica. It could be that Nuctenea silvicultrix avoids high altitudes, but it's presence in Germany and Italy makes it very possible to occur in Switzerland as well, so I'd not rule it out completely, but the chances are much lower. $\endgroup$
    – alephreish
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 9:11

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