Uloborus plumipes

    Description

    Males 3 to 4 mm, females 4 to 6 mm. Densely hairy, legs brown, annulated with white-bluish. Tibia I female: with strikingly long, black plumose hairs. Opisthosoma light brown with darker median line, densely haired, dorsally with 2 humps in anterior part, 2 white spots between them. At rest the spider resembles a small piece of dried vegetation. It spins a horizontal web up to 30cm across (smaller if space is restricted). 

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    Clear photos showing distinctive shape required. 

    Habitat

    Heated greenhouses and garden centres. Believed to have been imported from The Netherlands on plants and able to survive in greenhouses where the winter temperature is maintained above freezing. In this habitat it appears to be playing an effective role in controlling whitefly.

    When to see it

    Year round.

    Life History

    Females outnumber the slightly smaller males, which are cryptic and difficult to find. The egg-sacs, varying from dark brown to pale cream in colour, are characteristically star-shaped.

    UK Status

    Common in garden centres. 

    VC55 Status

    Under-recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map