My Smallest Spider – The Goblin Spider

Goblin Spider Oonops domesticus

This has to be the smallest spider I have ever encountered. I found it on my bathroom wall early this morning, and it is called Oonops domesticus also known as the Goblin Spider. It was so small and delicate I had to use toilet paper to catch it, believe it or not. They only grow 1-2mm (0.08in) long. For such a small creature it moved very rapidly and was hard to keep track of. After taking these photos I lost it under the kitchen table somewhere, and I doubt I will ever find it again. Because it was raining I had shaped a leaf to fit the bottom of a small pot so I could contain it and get a natural setting for the photo, and took the images on my kitchen table.

Goblin Spider Oonops domesticus

It belongs to a family of spiders called Oonipidae, of which there is one genus, and 2 British species. Oonops pulcher is the other species, and is generally found under bark, stones and leaves, where Oonops domesticus is found in buildings. To accurately identify them you would need a microscope, although Oonops domesticus has five tibial spine pairs where Oonops pulcher has four, and they do live in distinctly different habitats.

It has six tightly clustered eyes, and is a creeping, stealthy hunter of small invertebrates, interspersed with rapid movement. It apparently gently strokes its prey with outstretched legs before darting forward and biting it. Because of its size and nocturnal habit it usually goes unnoticed in houses, and is probably under recorded. During the day it remains hidden in a silken cell behind furniture or in cracks in woodwork. It is widely scattered and uncommon in England.


Double click on images to enlarge.


April 2018, disovered in house, Staffordshire, England. Β© Pete Hillman

23 thoughts on “My Smallest Spider – The Goblin Spider

    1. Thank you, Vicki πŸ™‚ If it wasn’t for the lighter coloured bathroom tiles I probably wouldn’t have even known it was there.

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn πŸ™‚ I wanted to know what it looked like for I could not see it properly with the naked eye, and was glad I managed to get up close to it.

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    1. Thank you, Ellen πŸ™‚ It was a quite a tricky task for it would not stop moving and then it would suddenly dart off. I was pleased I managed to get some good shots in before I lost it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Incredible!! You seem to be surrounded by spiders, lucky you πŸ™‚ This one so tiny and sweet with its soft color. Just 1-2 mm and as always, you captured it so very well. I understand you also have a lot of knowledge about these amazing creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anita πŸ™‚ They all seem to be appearing at once! Must be the warmer weather, although the temperatures have dropped again now. I am learning every day πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always find it incredible that you manage to detect and photograph (so intricately) things so tiny they’re virtually microscopic. And what a cool name too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate that, Jill, thank you πŸ™‚ I think that is quite a cool name, too. First time I had heard about until I found this spider.

      Liked by 1 person

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