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Green spiders native to Germany are rather rare. Strictly speaking, there are only three types that come into question. They can often be found well camouflaged on leaves and grass at the green edge of the forest.

Green hound spider (Micrommata virescens)

This small green spider's family usually lives in the tropics, the giant crab spiders (Sparassidae). Only this one representative is represented throughout Central Europe. In Germany it is the only free-living spider of its kind, apart from the banana spider (Heteropoda ventoria), which rarely occurs in greenhouses. In 2004, the bright green spider was even voted Spider of the Year by the Arachnological Society (AraGes) to draw attention to the threat to existing habitats.

The Green Snuggle Spider loves the warming rays of the sun. It is often found in sparse deciduous forests, at the edges of forests with a well-grown layer of grass and herbs, wet meadows, but also on dry meadows with bushy vegetation. Due to its excellent coloring, it adapts perfectly to its environment. You have to look twice to spot it between leaves and blades of grass. Among the green spiders living in Germany, the green hush spider is still the largest.

Micrommata virescens


  • Body size females: 12 to 15 mm
  • Body size males: 7 to 10 mm
  • spherical, plump abdomen
  • female abdomen light green with a yellowish contrasting green spit spot
  • Male abdomen elongated, green with bright red longitudinal stripes bordered in yellow
  • sides of abdomen bright red in males
  • legs green
  • female abdomen with short hair
  • Eyes arranged in two rows
  • upper row of eyes slightly curved backwards
  • back row of eyes slightly bent forward

The young spiders are initially green after hatching, but turn slightly greenish to yellow-brown with reddish spots before hibernation. There may also be stripe markings in places. The characteristic features of the green snuggle spider only appear after the last molt, the so-called mature molt, in the following spring. The spider can live up to 18 months.

Skilled hunter

The green coloring not only offers the spider protection from its predators such as birds or lizards, it is also a perfect camouflage on its own forays. This species of spiders does not catch their victims in the web, but their representatives are skillful hunters. They can jump very quickly and scurry between the branches of the bushes.

Spiders are diurnal and need sunlight to hunt. When searching for prey, they orientate themselves without exception with their eyes. The victim is followed, grabbed and overpowered over short distances in a flash. The deadly poisonous bite then follows within seconds. These claws (chelicerae) are located on the left and right front of the head. They are filled with poison and digestive juices.

Like many spiders, the green shoo spider can only digest its prey outside of its body. This involves killing or paralyzing the victim. The venom kills or paralyzes and the digestive juices liquefy the prey internally. So the green spider can suck out its prey in peace.

Notice: Usually, this domestic spider is difficult to confuse. Only the large lynx spider (Peucetia viridaris) looks very similar to it. However, this is only native to the coastal regions of North America, Mexico and the West Indies. It is not toxic to humans.

Green crab spider (Diaea dorsata)

It is also known as the green-brown crab spider. It lives exclusively in plains, deciduous forests, on trees and bushes at the edge of forests. She is one of the ambush hunters.

Diaea dorsata


  • Body size females: 5 to 6 mm
  • Body size males: 3 to 4 mm
  • Front body and legs predominantly light green in colour
  • Basic color of abdomen yellowish to whitish, slightly hairy
  • leaf-like, brownish pattern on abdomen
  • yellowish-white markings present in the sample
  • sparse hair on legs
  • Hair serves as a tactile organ for orientation
  • eight eyes in two rows on the forehead
  • Eyes rimmed in white

Pumpkin spider (Araniella curcurbitina)

This wheel spider is found throughout Europe. They prefer to live in clearings, at the edges of forests, gardens and parks, camouflaged in their own spun webs. This is located horizontally to diagonally on free-standing trees. Here they are barely visible.

Araniella curcurbitina


  • Body size females: 8 mm
  • Body size male: 5 mm
  • Forebody intensively yellow-brownish in colour
  • abdomen spherical
  • Basic color of abdomen bright green with yellow marbling
  • furthermore two rows with four black dots each on abdomen
  • small, brownish head
  • slightly hairy, green, short and strong legs
  • Spinning glands on the abdomen

Are they poisonous?

Spiders' venomous claws contain mild toxins. The prey animals have to pay for the catch with their lives. For them, the injected poison is deadly in any case. However, it can be said with confidence that a bite from the green snuggle spider, the green crab spider or the pumpkin spider is neither poisonous for humans nor pets such as dogs and cats, nor does it cause any other serious health problems in healthy people.

The dose of the venom is far too small for a human to cause serious harm. Although the poisonous claws of these spiders are strong, they are not able to penetrate human skin, which is then too thick. It would only be possible on thin skin areas such as the crook of the arm or in children, where the skin is still correspondingly tender. Panic does not have to break out, even if poison was injected with the bite.

The green spiders are neither aggressive nor willing to attack. A bite can only occur if there is carelessness or if the eight-legged friends feel threatened and cornered or are afraid. Female animals can become particularly aggressive if they are guarding the egg cocoon or the young spiders and humans get too close to them.

Bite slightly painful

The bite can be compared to a bee or wasp sting. Sometimes a wound is not really visible to the naked eye. On closer inspection there are two tiny puncture marks in the skin, which can burn a bit. Other features of a spider bite can be

  • mild local pain
  • swelling
  • Reddening of the bite wound and
  • itching

In such a case, no medical treatment is necessary. An ice pack or damp cloth is usually sufficient to cool the area. Alternatively, a mosquito pen can also be used. This should not be missing in any medicine cabinet. The pen is equipped with two warm metal plates at its tip. These are simply pressed onto the wound. The skin tissue is heated a little and the harmful protein is destroyed and disinfected.

As a rule, the pain and swelling should subside after a maximum of 30 minutes after the treatment has been completed. The bite wound should not be scratched under any circumstances. Otherwise, harmful bacteria can quickly invade and lead to an infection. Then medical treatment is essential.

Caution for allergy sufferers

For allergy sufferers, a bite can, in the worst case, result in an anaphylactic shock. This can be bad for the person affected, even fatal, if countermeasures are not taken immediately. The first signs can be

  • nausea and dizziness
  • acceleration heartbeat
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • swelling of the larynx
  • obstruction of the airways

If help is not provided, respiratory arrest, complete circulatory collapse and eventual death can result.

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