Stretch spiders or long jawed orb weavers

Family Tetragnathidae Home <------

 

About 50 species belongs to this family in Europe and eleven of them are described living in NW-Europe. Two genera can be found.
They probably arose from the same evolutionary line as the Araneids because they also build orb webs.
Members of the family of the Tetragnathidae are often found in damp, swampy habitats.
Tetragnatha
spiders have long slim bodies and their abdomen has a metal shiny look.
Tetragnatha
build orb webs with an open center like the Metidae. Metidae are recently placed in this family but I described them on an page of their own.


Genus Pachygnatha

Ten species are living in Europe. During daytime, they can be found at ground level. At night they move upwards in the vegetation.
This genus does not make webs.

Pachygnatha clercki Pachygnatha clercki male
Pachygnatha clercki female Pachygnatha clercki male
Pachygnatha degeeri
Pachygnatha degeeri Pachygnatha degeeri

Genus Tetragnatha

Eight Tetragnatha species occurs in NW-Europe.

Tetragnatha build orb webs with an open center like the Metidae. When the spiders is not in the web she rests stretched on a reed twig or grass leave. If the spider is disturbed she usually drops to the ground.

Most are greatly elongated spiders with very thin, long legs; the chelicerae (jaws) are of great size, especially those of the males, which often project in forward in a horizontal position.
The jaws together with the two long palps it appears as they have four jaws.
Their size varies between 5 and 15 mm.

Tetragnathidae do not use many radii in their web.

During mating the chelicerae of the male are gripped in those of the female (blue arrow and he inserts his palp in her genitials (red arrow) and pumps his sperm in her.


The palps of the male can be seen in detail on the left picture.

Tetragnatha extensa closeup Tetragnatha montana mating.
   
Tetragnatha extensa female Tetragnatha extensa female Tetragnatha extensa female

Tetragnatha montana
male
Tetragnatha montana Tetragnatha montana
Tetragnatha montana female Tetragnatha montana male Tetragnatha montana female
Tetragnatha montana female Tetragnatha montana female Tetragnatha montana female weaving her web
Tetragnatha obtusa Tetragnatha sp.
Tetragnatha obtusa Tetragnatha sp.

Ed Nieuwenhuys, December 26, 2008

July 5, 2000, 31 August, 1998

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