- filtered for France (Mainland)
Images and Species Descriptions
Text and photographs © 2011 Jørgen Lissner
The Spiders of Europe and Greenland
Family: Uloboridae (Cribellate Orb Weavers)
Biology: This is a fairly small family, which is represented by ca. 263 species placed in 18 genera and 4 subfamilies. They range in size from small to medium (3-10 mm body size). They spin complete orb webs or sections of orbs similar to the Araneidae and related families. The plane of the web is often more or less horizontal. The spiral threads are made up of cribellate silk rather than silk with glue droplets as in the Araneidae. Uloborids are also unique among spiders in lacking poison glands. Once a prey is tangled in the web it is very carefully covered with silk and feeding begins only when the prey is fully immobilised.
Characters of family: The uloborids are entelegyne, cribellate spiders having four or eight eyes and three tarsal claws. They eyes are arranged in two rows of four in the subfamilies Hyptiotinae and Uloborinae. In Miagrammopinae the anterior row is reduced leaving just one row of four. The fourth subfamily, Tangaroinae, has mixed arrangement of the eyes since this subfamily is defined by other characters than carapace morphology. The eyes of Hyptiotes are very peculiar since they are placed rather far back on the carapace. The posterior row is situated about midway on the carapace and the laterals are placed on tubercles. The anterior row is also well removed from the front of the head. Uloborids are also characterized by a dorsally compressed, curved metatarsus IV possessing a uniseriate calamistrum (often absent in males). Additionally diagnostic characters include rows of long trichobothria on femora and the absence of poison glands. The carapace form is very different among the subfamilies and varies from long and narrow (Miagrammopinae) to ovoid (Uloborinae) and triangular (Hyptiotinae). The carapace is clothed with plumose hairs except in the Uloborinae. The sternum is divided in Miagrammopinae but undivided in other subfamilies. The shape is variable, some long, some oval, and some roughly triangular. The chelicerae do not possess a lateral condyle or poison glands. The fang furrows are provided with a cluster of small teeth or with fewer larger teeth. The shape of the labium is also very different among the subfamilies. In Hyptiotinae and Uloborinae it is semicircular but longer in Miagrammopinae. Many species have legs I and IV the longest with legs II only slightly shorter than legs IV. In Uloborinae tibia I is provided with a brush of long hairs. The female palp is provided with a dentate claw. The abdomen may have one or more pairs of humps (four pairs in Hyptiotes cavatus). Usually the colours and body shape provide excellent camouflage but there are some exceptions, for example Uloborus walckenaerius is easily spotted in the field. The anal tubercle is large and two-segmented. The anterior spinners are three-segmented. An undivided cribellum is present in front of the spinners with the exception of some males. The tracheal spiracle is situated in front of the cribellum. The epigyne is with paired projections (e.g. Uloborus) or unpaired (e.g. Hyptiotes). The male palp is complicated sometimes relatively large compared to the size of the spider. The palpal femur has a small tubercle in many species.
Genus: Hyptiotes Walckenaer, 1837
Characters of genus: Hyptiotes spin an easily recognisable web triangular in shape being a sector of about 45 degrees of an orb web.
Hyptiotes dentatus Wunderlich, 2008
Range: France (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: France (Platnick 10.0).
Hyptiotes flavidus (Blackwall, 1862)
Range: Bulgaria, Croatia, France (Mainland), Greece (Mainland), Italy (Mainland), Portugal (Madeira), Portugal (Mainland), Portugal (Selvagens Islands), Spain (Canary Islands), Spain (Mainland) (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Mediterranean (Platnick 10.0).
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Hyptiotes paradoxus (C. L. Koch, 1834) - Triangle Spider
Description: Odd spider with eyes arranged widely apart. The abdomen is rounded triangular in lateral view. The spider is mottled in shades of reddishbrow, yellowish brown or grey, sometimes with white bands along the sides. The spider is extremely well camuoflaged when sitting on dead branches. The palpal organs are very large and projecting, about the same size as the cephalothorax. Size: Female 5-6 mm; male 3-4 mm. Maturity: Summer Habitat: Dark and old evergreen forest, typically on the lower dead branches at 1-2 m height. The spider can be difficult to spot even if it hangs in its web. Range: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Germany, Great Britain (Mainland), Greece (Crete), Greece (Mainland), Hungary, Ireland, Italy (Mainland), Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway (Mainland), Poland, Portugal (Mainland), Romania, Russia (Kaliningrad Region), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (Balearic Islands), Spain (Mainland), Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Yugoslavia (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Palearctic (Platnick 10.0).
Subadult male.
Juvenile.
Male.
Male.
Prey wrapped with silk.
Male.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Genus: Uloborus Latreille, 1806
Biology: The European members of this genus spin a horizontal orb web up to about 30 cm in diameter. There is no retreat, but the web is often reinforced with stabilimenta, which are bands of dense silk running through the web. When the spider rest on a stabilimentum it may render the spider less conspicuous for predators.
Characters of genus: Carapace oval, longer than wide. The two eye rows are of about the same length. Posterior row is strongly recurved anterior row less so. The eyes are subequal. Tarsus IV longer than half the length of metatarsus IV. In many species tibia I is provided with a brush of hairs. Dorsal compression of metatarsi under calamistrum IV indistinct.
Uloborus plumipes Lucas, 1846 - Feather-legged lace weaver, Garden center spider
Description: Leg I is very long, about 5 times the length of the carapace. Tibia I is provided with several stout spines but are difficult to discern because of the dense hairing of the legs. Calamistrum on leg IV with about 50 bristles. The long brush of hairs on distal half is on the other hand very conspicuous. The abdomen is provided with two large humps. The species is very variable in colouration. Some specimens are unicoloured in light cream with few golden hairs on carapace and legs. Other specimens are much darker, usually brownish very often mottled in lighter colours. Darker specimens also have the legs annulated with lighter hairs. Size: Female 4-6 mm; male 3-4 mm. Maturity: All year Habitat: The species is only able to survive indoors in northern Europe. It is typically found in greenhouses, flower shops and in supermarkets selling plants and vegetables. Here the females are often observed to guard their egg sacks indicating that they are able to breed. People buying products in these places may bring the species to their homes but here the chance of escaping the vacuum cleaner is usually slim. Range: Austria, Belgium (introduced), Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark (introduced), Faroe Islands (introduced), France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Germany, Great Britain (Mainland), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Hungary, Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sardinia), Italy (Sicily), Malta, Netherlands (introduced), Norway (Mainland), Poland, Portugal (Mainland), Russia (Central European), Russia (Eastern European), Russia (Southern European), Slovenia (introduced), Spain (Canary Islands), Spain (Mainland), Sweden, Switzerland (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Old World (Platnick 10.0).
Juvenile.
Juvenile.
Male.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Female.
Male.
Male.
Male.
Female.
Female, abdominal markings.
Uloborus walckenaerius Latreille, 1806
Description: Slender spider, especially the male. Appears striped due to white tufts of abdominal hairs, arranged in rows parallel to the length of the spider. Cocoon slender and well camouflaged against the stabilimenta of the webs. Size: Female 6-8 mm; male 3-4 mm. Maturity: June to September. Habitat: Warm places with low and sparse vegetation such as sandy, xerothermic forest edges, heather, scree slopes and dry road sides. Range: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France (Corsica), France (Mainland), Germany, Great Britain (Mainland), Greece (Dodecanese Islands), Greece (Mainland), Hungary, Italy (Mainland), Italy (Sardinia), Italy (Sicily), Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Portugal (Madeira), Portugal (Mainland), Romania, Russia (Central European), Russia (Eastern European), Russia (Southern European), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (Balearic Islands), Spain (Canary Islands), Spain (Mainland), Switzerland, Ukraine, Yugoslavia (van Helsdingen 2009.1). Global range: Palearctic (Platnick 10.0).
Male and female.
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Subadult male.
Male.
Male.
Male, venter.
Female.
Female.