I apologize to the arachnophobes viewing this page – you may not want to stay too long. For everyone else… I present you this Official Postcrossing card from Russia! This is Eresus sandaliatus, or the ladybird spider (given its name from how it resembles a ladybird… and if you’re from North America, that means “ladybug”). This type of spider resides in Europe, mainly in countries like the UK, Norway and Italy. While this spider looks quite big on the card, it’s actually quite tiny. Males are about 6-9 mm and females are 10-16. The males are the ones with the deep red/orange lower halves and black spots, while the females are completely black. Ladybird spiders like to live in the dry soil of heathlands. Heathlands are wide-open plains with low-growing vegetation, and a favorite spot for the ladybird spiders. Unfortunately, with development by humans taking place in these heathlands, ladybird spiders have lost much of their habitat. They were thought to be extinct in the late 1970s, but a few populations were discovered. They’re now considered to be endangered. Honestly such a beautiful eight-legged creature – thank you lots for sending me this, Christina!