Metellina segmentata

Description

4-8mm (female), 4-6mm (male). Usually has yellow, red and orange tones on the abdomen. The carapace has a dark tuning fork mark in the centre.

Metellina segmentata closely resembles M. mengei. Mature M. mengei tend to predominate in spring and early summer, mature M. segmentata tend to be most numerous in late summer and autumn, though some M. mengei can persist in this period so the season is not a reliable way to separate the two species. 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. However the only reliable means of definite identification of these two species is by examination of the genitalia.

Similar Species

Metallina mengei - see above.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Found in woods, gardens and wasteland amongst any vegetation or structure where it can build its web.

When to see it

It is to be found all year round, but is more prevalent from summer and through the autumn.

Life History

This spider spins orb-shaped (rounded) webs. During the mating season the male moves onto the web of the female.

UK Status

It is widespread and common in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map