Metellina mengei

    Description

    Metellina mengei resembles M. segmentata although on average M. mengei may be slightly smaller. Having said that, there is size variation in both species which creates an overlap. Mature M. mengei tend to predominate in spring and early summer (remember "m before s"), mature M. segmentata tend to be most numerous in late summer and autumn, though some M. mengei can persist in this period too. Both species are very variable in appearance and can often only be separated by examining specimens with a strong hand lens or microscope. Male M. mengei have a fringe of long hairs beneath the fore tarsi and details of the palps differ from M. segmentata. When the underside of females is checked, the black stripe beneath the abdomen of M. mengei extends forward beyond the point of the epigyne, whereas in M. segmentata the strip ends at the epigyne.  If we cannot be certain of the identity of an image but it is likely to be a certain species, it is highlighted in a red box

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Woodland and grassland.

    When to see it

    It is to be found all year round, but may be more prevalent over the winter and spring period through to early summer.

    Life History

    Builds a small orb web with an open hub.

    UK Status

    Very common and widespread in Britain. 9327 British records to Jan 2013.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map