Stretch spiders or long jawed orb weavers

Family Tetragnathidae Home <------

About 50 species belongs to this family 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. The family of the Tetragnatha is often found in damp, swampy habitats. These spiders have long slim bodies and their abdomen has a metal shiny look. They build orb webs with an open center like the Metidae.


Genus Pachygnatha

Three species are living in Europe. During daytime, they can be found at ground level. At night they move upwards in the vegetation.

They do not make webs.

Pachygnatha clercki.Pachygnatha clercki male

Pachygnatha clercki female and male

Pachygnatha degeeriPachygnatha degeeri


Genus Tetragnatha

Eight species occurs in NW-Europe. They have an extreme elongated abdomen, long legs and extreme large chelicera (jaws). They spin an orb web with a hole in the hub. Tetragnathidae do not use many radii in their web.

Their jaws.

Tetragnatha extensa Tetragnatha extensa
Tetragnatha extensa closeup Tetragnatha extensa mating.

Notice the large fangs, which are locked together to fetch the partner.

Tetragnatha extensa Tetragnatha montana Tetragnatha montana
Tetragnatha extensa female Tetragnatha montana male Tetragnatha montana female

Tetragnatha obtusaTetragnatha obtusa

Tetragnatha sp.Tetragnatha sp.


Ed Nieuwenhuys, July 5, 2000

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