Feather-Legged Spider (Uloborus glomosus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Feather-Legged Spider.
Updated: 3/21/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Not one to shave, the Feather-Legged Spider uses its extra-long tufts of leg hair to comb its silk web.
Thick legs are made to look all the bigger thanks to long, feathery hairs. Feather-Legged Spiders have a large abdomen with two prominent bumps on the upper half. These brown patterned spiders may look ferocious, but they actually lack venom glands and are, therefore, non-venomous, a true rarity in the spider world. (Almost every spider produces venom, but not every venom is poisonous to humans.)
The Feather-Legged Spider is a type of orb-weaver, creating fine webs that entangle prey. The webs are built flat and not far from the ground. A stabilimentum (zig-zag) may be visible in the web. They seem to prefer to hang head-down when collecting and feeding on prey. The silk of their web is not sticky, so its ensnaring ability comes from the way the web is built. Inside of a large, holey spiral of silk, the Feather-Legged Spider creates a willowy web with many smaller gaps. The tiny size of the gaps between lines in the web make it difficult for an insect to pull itself free once a leg or antenna falls through one. Movement tends to make the tangle worse by twisting more of the small gaps around the insect. Once the insect is stuck, the spider descends on its prey, crushing it using more lines of silk.