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

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map