|Family Tetragnathidae - Long-Jawed Orb Weavers|
Recently separated from family Aranidae, the tetragnathids spin less elaborate webs than their larger sisters. Live spiders photographed in the wild at various North American locations.
Spider Index | Spider Main | Funnel Web | Orb Web | Nursery Web | Cobweb | Insects
|Larger spiders in this family are often found near water, especially moving water of rivers and streams. They build orb webs in the horizontal plane, often just inches above the surface of water where they can catch emerging insects like midges, mayflies, and stoneflies. I have seen them construct elaborate scaffolding atop plants at the water's edge, upon which they can travel quite rapidly, seemingly on thin air.|
Smaller species build webs in fields and meadows, often in trees and shrubs or low foliage in the forest understory. Most of their orb webs are built closer to the horizontal than vertical, with a large open area in the center through which the spider can pass to access both side of the web. Other species are active hunters and build only the aforementioned scaffolding.
Class Arachnida / Order Araneae: Spiders are the largest group of arachnids. They are easily recognized by their eight legs, and there are few creatures great or small that elicit such irrational fear in mankind. The vast majority of spiders are completely harmless and offer beneficial services, chief of which is keeping the burgeoning insect population in check. I am continually amazed at the resourcefulness of these supremely successful predators.
Spider Index | Spider Main | Funnel Web | Orb Web | Nursery Web | Cobweb