Dorceus C.L. Koch, 1846

Diversity: 5 species described: D. albolunulatus, D. fastuosus, D. latifrons, D. quadrispilotus, D. trianguliceps.

Distribution: Northern Africa, Senegal (D. fastuosus), Israel, Negev desert (D. fastuosus).

Appearance: Big spiders. Body shape prolonged. Coloration of females and juveniles is dark brown without any markings. Adult males are black and white (for males check El-Hennawy 1998, 2002). 

Biology: I have experiences with D. fastuosus only. It is a specialist on sandy dunes (stabilized by scare vegetation) where it builds deep burrows. From its burrow only small piece of web cowered with sand excavate upon the surface. It is an extremely rare spider and very hard to find, even if one knows the exact place. The shape of abdomen is adapted for moving in sandy burrows, where spiders spend most of the life time. In late summer/autumn about three hundreds of juveniles hatch. Juveniles eat mother and stay together in nest for a while, Their migration is probably linked with the change of coloration (attaching of white lateral stripes) in 3rd instar. Adult females are very big. In captivity has been very hard to keep them alive and they were growing very slow, first males from cocoon get subadult after three years and their size was tiny when compare with gigantic adult females whose could be older, much more older.