Dictyna arundinacea

    Description

    A small (3 mm) spider which may be variable in appearance, but often with a pale body and a darker central pattern. Apical ends of tarsi I, II and III darker than remaining segments. 

    Similar Species

    Other Dictyna species. 

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Confirmation requires microscopic examination of the genitalia of adult specimens. 

    Recording advice

    Confirmation requires microscopic examination of the genitalia of adult specimens. 

    Habitat

    The species is found on low, especially dry or dead vegetation (Jones 1983), in rough grassland or herbage growing at the edges of fields, hedges and woodland rides.

    When to see it

    Adults occur from late spring to mid-summer peaking in May and June.

    Life History

    It spins its web in the tops of plants which supply rigidity and suitable structural spaces. The old heads of various umbellifers, docks, thistles and plants like Hypericum are favoured situations. On heathland the spider is very common on heather. The spider is not deterred by the prey's size, which is always bitten in the leg until dead.

    UK Status

    The species is widespread in Britain, but more scattered in the west and north.

    VC55 Status

    Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map