Dwarf spiders

As the common name implies, many of these spiders are small. The ehelicerae are relatively large, with sharp teeth, and the legs have strong bristles. Males may have odd projections on the carapace, which may carry the eyes. Coloration varies from pale yellow to black and some have pale patches or banded legs. Many species attach nonsticky sheet webs to vegetation. Passing insects are knocked down on to the web, where the spider bites them from below with its chelicera and drags them under the sheet.

• LIFE Cycle Females grip the male during mating. They attach egg sacs of various designs to plants, stones, and other surfaces.

• OCCl JRRKNCF Worldwide, mostly in temperate areas. Among vegetation and stones in various habitats, such as woods, grassland, scrubland, and swamps. Dwarf spiders can travel vast distances by "ballooning" on silk threads.

• remark Another common name - "money spider" - comes from the myth that if a dwarf spider lands on you and is twirled around the head three times, good fortune will result.

bright red-orange legs

(¡ONAT!11M spkciks arc extremely common and several are widespread throughout the Northern I lemisphere. They are found in low vegetation or shrubs and prefer shady spots.

L«ngth i/32_y8in (0.1-lcm), most under 5/i6Ín (0.5cm)

Feeding habits

0rder Araneak

Family LYCOS I dak

No. of species ^ qqq

distinctive black-and-• white bands of hair egg sac attached • to spinnerets stout legs

Wolf spiders

I hese spiders vary from pale gray to dark brown with markings such as bands, stripes, white hairs, and black dots. The "head" area is often narrow, and the front two pairs of legs have many strong spines. Wolf spiders have four large eyes: the rear two face sideways and the two adjacent eyes face forward. They also have four small eyes. These spiders have the excellent eyesight necessary for effective hunting, and most search for prey along the ground or among leaf litter, usually at night.

• LIFE Cycle Courtship can be complex. Females of ground-active species carry egg sacs around with them, attached to their spinnerets. Burrowing species keep their egg sacs in a silk burrow. When the spiderlings hatch out, the mother may carry them around on her back.

• ()(:< :i jrreni :e Worldwide, even in the Arctic. Widespread in varied habitats. Many arc-vital predators in fields, eating pests such as aphids, and some live in swamps, on plants, and on the surface of water.

PARDOSA AMENTATA is common in Europe, where it prefers open habitats. This species can be quite variable in appearance - the abdomen may be either brown or gray, for example.

bright red-orange cephalothorax oval abdomen

bright red-orange legs gray abdomen

No. of species 4 700

bright red-orange cephalothorax oval abdomen gray abdomen

distinctive black-and-• white bands of hair egg sac attached • to spinnerets stout legs

0rder ARANK AK

Family QONOPIDAK

No. of species 250

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