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Cribellate Orb Weaver (Uloborus spp.)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Cribellate Orb Weaver, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 1/3/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Cribellate Orb Weaver  
Picture of Cribellate-Orb-Weaver

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.

Picture of the Cribellate Orb Weaver
Picture of the Cribellate Orb Weaver

Cribellate Orb Weaver Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Cribellate Orb Weaver
Scientific Name: Uloborus spp.
Other Name(s): Feather-legged Orb Weaver

Taxonomy Hierarchy

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

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 3 mm to 7 mm (0.117 inches to 0.273 inches)
Identifying Colors: brown; tan; white
Additional Descriptors: long, tucked, silk

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

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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