Mothercare Spider - Phylloneta sisyphia

Alternative names
Theridion sisyphia

Size 3 mm to 4 mm. The Mothercare Spider has a very rounded abdomen which has distinctive black and white markings on the back and some orange-brown streaks on the underside.

Identification difficulty

Hedgerows and on various other vegetation. Often in gorse or thistles.

When to see it

Spring to autumn.

Life History

The Mothercare Spider gets its name from its caring nature towards its young. The blue-green egg sac is guarded by the female. When the babies hatch, the mother feeds them on regurgitated food. As they grow she shares larger food items with them. As with other species she will die before the young leave the nest and the young will eat her body.

UK Status

Fairly common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Quite frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Further Information

5806 British records to Jan 2013

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map