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.
Ten species are living in Europe. During daytime, they can
be found at ground level. At night they move upwards in the
This genus does not make webs.
|Pachygnatha clercki female||Pachygnatha clercki male|
|Pachygnatha degeeri||Pachygnatha degeeri|
Eight Tetragnatha species occurs in NW-Europe.
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.
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.
|Tetragnatha extensa closeup||Tetragnatha montana mating.|
|Tetragnatha extensa female||Tetragnatha extensa female||Tetragnatha extensa female|
Tetragnatha montana male
|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.|
Ed Nieuwenhuys, December 26, 2008
July 5, 2000, 31 August, 1998