Nemesia arboricola Pocock, 1903

Maltese trap-door spider



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Rediscovered in the early 1990's (Kritscher, 1994)


Schembri (1989) stated that the species had not been recorded since Pocock's (1903) original description, and noted that the species was of questionable taxonomic status and endemicity. Baldacchino
et al. (1993) reported several specimens of Nemesia collected in 1974-76 that they identified as N. macrocephala. Kritscher (1994) collected several N. arboricola during 1990-92. At least some of the Baldacchino
et al. (1993) specimens were re-identified as N. arboricola by (Cassar et al., 2022).





Biology & Ecology

"Nemesia arboricola Pocock, 1903 excavates its burrows in various natural settings such as crevices between rocks and roots and pre-existing, soil filled cavities in rocks and tree trunks"

(Cassar et al., 2022)









Original scientific description:

Pocock, Reginald I. (1903). Descriptions of four new Arachnida of the orders Pedipalpi, Solifugae and Araneae. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 7(11): 220-226.


Other references:

Baldacchino, A. E., Dandria, D., Lanfranco, E. and Schembri, P. J. (1993). Records of spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) from the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean). The Central Mediterranean Naturalist 2(2): 37-60.

Cassar, Thomas, Mifsud, David and Decae, Arthur E. (2022). The Nemesia trapdoor spider fauna of the Maltese archipelago, with the description of two new species (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Nemesiidae). European Journal of Taxonomy 806: 90-112.

Dandria, D. (2001). Observations on the endemic Maltese trap door spider Observations on the endemic Maltese trap door spider Nemesia arboricola Pocock, 1903 (Araneae: Nemesiidae) Pocock, 1903 (Araneae: Nemesiidae). The Central Mediterranean Naturalist 3(3): 103-108.

Decae, A. E. (2012). Geography-related sub-generic diversity within the Mediterranean trapdoor spider genus Nemesia (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Nemesiidae). Arachnologische Mitteilungen 43: 24-28.

Kritscher, E. (1994). Nemesia arboricola Pocock, 1903, eine durch ein Jahrhundert hindurch verschollene Spinnenart der Maltesischen Inseln. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 96B: 49-57.

Kritscher, E. (1996). Ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Spinnen-Fauna der Maltesischen Inseln (Chelicerata: Araneae). Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, Serie B 98: 117-156.

Le Peru, B. (2011). The spiders of Europe, a synthesis of data: Volume 1 Atypidae to Theridiidae. Mémoires de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon 2: 1-522.

Pfliegler, W. A., Schönhofer, A., Niedbała, W., Vella, P., Sciberras, A. and Vella, A. (2017). New records of mites (Acari) and harvestmen (Opiliones) from Malta with a preliminary checklist of Maltese Arachnida. Soil Organisms 89: 85-110.

Schembri, P. J. (1989). Invertebrates (other than Insects and Molluscs), pp. 71-78. In: Sultana, J. and Schembri, P. J. (eds.). Red Data Book for the Maltese Islands. Ministry of Education, Valletta, Malta. viii +142 pp.


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