The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Green Spider.

Morphology. The adult spiders 7–13 mm long; females bright green; slender-bodied to of medium build (the male), or of medium build to decidedly plump-bodied (the female); decidedly short-legged, or with legs of medium length (from somewhat longer to the body to twice as long); not crab-like in stance and locomotion; with eight eyes. The eyes in two horizontal rows of 4 (the posterior medians circular); all dark (black and beady); conspicuously ringed with white hairs. The palpal organs of the male of complex structure and enclosed by the specialized, hollowed tarsal segment (the cymbium). The front legs not short and stout. The first two pairs of legs forwardly directed, laterigrade; not markedly longer and stouter than the third and fourth pairs. Metatarsus IV of the females without a calamistrum. Scopulae present on tarsi I and II. Tarsal claws 2. The tarsi with claw tufts. The abdomen conspicuously patterned dorsally; predominantly bright red and yellow (in the male), or without any red coloration (green, in the female); with a single, inconspicuous tracheal spiracle. The anterior spinnerets close together (hiding the medians). The abdomen of the females without a cribellum. The reproductive openings of the females associated with an epigyne.

The adults not making snare-webs; lying in wait for their prey (hanging downwards, often from low vegetation in grassy places, and springing on passing insects).

British representation. 1 species in Britain; in the genus Micrommata (M. virescens). Widespread (in England, but mainly southern).

Illustrations. • Micrommata virescens.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. The families of British spiders. Version: 4th January 2012.’.