The families of British spiders


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Comb-footed Cellar Spider.

Morphology. The adult spiders 3–6 mm long; of medium build (males), or decidedly plump-bodied (females); with legs of medium length, or decidedly long-legged (from less than twice to over three times the body length); with eight eyes. The eyes in two horizontal rows of 4; all clear and glassy. The maxillae longer than broad. The palpal organs of the male of complex structure and enclosed by the specialized, hollowed tarsal segment (the cymbium). The male palps with a well developed paracymbium. The female palps with a claw. Metatarsus IV of the females without a calamistrum. Tarsal claws 3. Tarsus IV with a ventral row of serrated bristles constituting a ‘comb’. The abdomen conspicuously patterned dorsally. 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 (in the form of a loose platform, attached to stone or brick by sticky threads, in deep shade, caves, cellars, etc.).

British representation. 1 species in Britain; in the genus Nesticus (N. cellulanus).

Comments. The male palp with a well developed paracymbium.

Illustrations. • Nesticus cellulanus.

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.’.