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Feather-legged Spider (Uloborus glomosus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Feather-legged Spider

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Not one to shave, the Feather-legged Spider uses its extra-long tufts of leg hair to comb its silk web.

Updated: 01/03/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 makes 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.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Uloboridae
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          Genus: Uloborus
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            Species: glomosus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Uloborus glomosus
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 10mm (0.11" to 0.39")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; ivory; red, black
Descriptors: feathery; bumpy; speckled; tufts

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 3mm (0.1in) and 10mm (0.4in)
Lo: 3mm
Md: 6.5mm
Hi: 10mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Feather-legged Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Feather-legged Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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