The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Lesser Cobweb Spiders.

Morphology. The adult spiders 1.3–3 mm long; of medium build, or decidedly plump-bodied; decidedly short-legged; with eight eyes. The eyes in two horizontal rows of 4; all clear and glassy. The palpal organs of the male of complex structure and enclosed by the specialized, hollowed tarsal segment (the cymbium). Metatarsus IV of the females without a calamistrum. Tarsal claws 3. The abdomen conspicuously patterned dorsally. The tracheal spiracles more or less equidistant from the epigastric furrow and the spinnerets, or close to the spinnerets. The spinnerets in a more or less transverse row. With one pair of spinnerets 2-segmented (the outer ones). The abdomen of the females without a cribellum. The reproductive openings of the females associated with an epigyne.

The adults making snare-webs; constructing horizontal sheet webs (making small webs on the ground, in soil, moss and leaf litter).

British representation. 7 species in Britain; in the genera Antistea and Hahnia.

Illustrations. • Antistea elegans, Hahnia montana and Hahnia nava.

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.’.