Sheet web spiders

Family Linyphiidae Home <------

This is a very large family of more than 3500 species worldwide.

Most of the spiders of this family weave sheet like webs and the spider hangs under the web. Above the sheets the spider inserts scaffolding of threads. Insects fly against these strands and falls onto the web where they are caught. The spiders are so small and light weight that they have the capability of "flying" through the air by means of their threads. They are referred too as dwarf spiders. In the British Isles, they are called money spiders.

Nearly half of the spiders in Europe are member of this family. Their size is between 4 - 10 mm. Most of them have dark colors.

Genus Linyphia

Linyphia sp.Linyphia sp.

LiLinyphia triangularisLinyphia triangularis

Genus Neriene

Seven species are known in Europe. The N. radiata species can be easily recognized by its domed web. In the USA the spider is also known as 'filmy dome spider'. The spider is about 6 mm long.

Neriene montana Neriene montana Neriene montana

Neriene radiataNeriene radiata

Neriene peltataNeriena peltata

Genus Frontinellina

There is only one known species in Europe. The spider has an abdomen that, when viewed from the side, is higher at the end. In the USA a related spider is called' bowl and doily spider'.

Frontinellina frutetorumFrontinellina frutetorum

Genus Lepthyphantes

There are 50 known species of this genus. The spiders are also called 'money spiders'

Genus Drapetisca

Drapetisca socialis. Drapetisca socialisDrapetisca socialis

The only European sort makes very fine vertical webs on the bark of trees. These webs are about 40 * 60 mm large.

The Drapetisca socialis is variable in color and is characterized by its pink color. In industrialized areas the abdomen may be blacker. It can be found on the barks of especially pines and beeches.

Drapetisca socialis

Labulla thoricica

Labulla thoricica has a variable coloring. Reddish, yellowish-brown until nearly white. It can be found in a sheet web at the feet of trees.

Ed Nieuwenhuys, August 4, 1999