Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Cribellate Orb Weaver - (Uloborus spp.)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/3/2014

The tropical Cribellate Orb Weaver spins very fine silk webs that ensnare without need for adhesion.

The legs of this spider are hairy with flared, feathery tufts of hair at the 'ankles'. The front pairs of legs are extremely long. Often, these front legs are clustered next to each other, elongating the size of the spider as it sits on its web. The abdomen has two bumps, near the thorax, giving it a more boxy appearance as opposed to the more typical round shape of other spiders.

Webs are built flat and parallel to the ground, at or around knee-height. The spider sits on, or near it, in a 'tucked' position, and sometimes on the underside of the web, giving it the appearance of a dead flower or piece of leaf. The Cribellate Orb Weaver creates a web that lacks sticky silk. Instead, small prey get tangled in the tiny gaps between the fine threads in such a way that the typical 'glue' other spiders have on their silk is not necessary. The cribellum on the legs allow the spider to 'comb' its web, keeping the fine strands separated until prey enters.

This tiny spider is found in humid, tropical climates and lacks venom. They kill their victims by winding them tightly in silk, squeezing them to death.

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Category: Spider
Common name: Cribellate Orb Weaver
Scientific Name: Uloborus spp.
Other Names: Feather-legged Orb Weaver

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
     Order: Araneae
      Family: Uloboridae
       Genus: Uloborus
        Species: spp.

Adult Size (Length): 3mm to 7mm (0.12in to 0.28in)

Identifying Colors: brown; tan; white

Additional Descriptors: long, tucked, silk

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Florida; Georgia; Alabama; Mississippi; Louisiana; Texas

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.