Mesh Web Weavers, Small cribellate spiders

Family Dictynidae Back <------

The spiders in this family are smaller than 5 mm in length and most of them are only 2-3 mm. Their web snairs look like ladders
They have a calamistrum (small comb of hairs to comb out silk) on metatarsus of leg IV comprising a single row of bristles.
Three genera are known in this family.

Dictyna arudinacea photo Hans Jonkman

Genus Dictyna

Seven species can be found in NW-Europe. Their size varies between 2 and 4 mm. Male and females are similar in appearance.
The spider spins a cribellate web in the top of plants. They prefer dead, dry vegetation. The web is permanent and becomes full of debris.

Dictyna latens
Dictyna latens Dictyna latens
Dictyna arudinacea / uncinata Dictyna arudinacea / uncinata
Dictyna arudinacea / uncinata Dictyna arudinacea / uncinata


Genus Nigma


Nigma walckenaeri female

These spiders were previously assigned to the genus Heterodictyna. Only three species are known in NW-Europe. All three species have a greenish color. They can be found on bushes and trees in the neighborhood of houses.

Nigma walckenaeri Nigma walckenaeri
Nigma walckenaeri female
Nigma walckenaeri female close-up
This green spider hides below a sheet of silken preferably on large leaves that have the same color as its body. From the retreat, warning lines are spun over the leave. It catches flies far larger than itself. Its size is 3 - 5 mm and is full-grown in August and September. The old name of this species was Nigma viridissima

Nigma walckenaeri. Nigma puella

Spiders in love. Left Nigma walckenaeri, right Nigma puella.

 Nigma puella.Nigma puella Nigma puella

Nigma puella male and female


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Ed Nieuwenhuys, 25 september 2018
10 July 2010, 26 october 2005