Seothyra schreineri Velvet Spider in Namibia

Seothyra schreineri, a member of the Eresidae family also known as velvet spiders, is a fascinating species native to the arid landscapes of Namibia. This species, commonly referred to as the Namib Desert spider, has developed a range of adaptations that allow it to thrive in one of the world’s most inhospitable environments.

Taxanomic Rank

The taxonomic rank of Seothyra schreineri is as follows:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Family: Eresidae
  • Genus: Seothyra
  • Species: Seothyra schreineri

This classification places Seothyra schreineri within the family Eresidae, also known as velvet spiders.

Habitat and Distribution

The Namib Desert, characterized by its vast sand dunes and extreme temperature fluctuations, is the primary habitat of Seothyra schreineri. The spider is found across the desert, demonstrating an impressive resilience and adaptability to the harsh desert conditions.


Seothyra schreineri has a flattened body shape, an adaptation that allows it to fit into narrow crevices and under rocks, providing shelter from the intense desert sun and predators. Its coloration, a mix of sandy hues, provides excellent camouflage against the desert landscape.

One of the most notable adaptations of Seothyra schreineri is its ability to construct silk-lined burrows in the sand. These burrows provide a cool refuge during the heat of the day and a safe place to retreat from potential threats.

Diet and Hunting Behavior

Seothyra schreineri is a predator, feeding on a variety of small invertebrates that inhabit the Namib Desert. Its hunting strategy involves ambushing prey from the entrance of its burrow or during active foraging expeditions.


The reproductive behavior of Seothyra schreineri is particularly intriguing. Females are semelparous, meaning they reproduce only once in their lifetime. After laying her eggs, the female spider ceases to eat and eventually dies. Her body then serves as the first meal for her newly hatched offspring, a phenomenon known as matriphagy.

Conservation Status

The conservation status of Seothyra schreineri is not well-documented. Further research is needed to understand the population trends of this species, particularly in the context of climate change and its potential impact on desert ecosystems.