Zygiella atrica

    Description

    Size female about 6.5 mm, male smaller about 4 mm. Most (but not all) specimens have more red-brown colouration than Zygiella x-notata, but the species need to be separated by an expert for identification purposes. Very difficult to distinguish from Z. atrica. Specimens found on window frames or car door mirrors are unlikely to be Z. atrica (but it's not impossible), but those from vegetation could be either.  Zygiella x-notata and Zygiella atrica need to be separated by an expert for identification purposes. Please state where the specimen was found when submitting a record. 

    Similar Species

    Z. X-notata.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Please state where the specimen was found when submitting a record. Confirmation of this species require examination of the genitals of mature specimens. 

    Recording advice

    Please state where the specimen was found when submitting a record. Confirmation of this species require examination of the genitals of mature specimens. 

    Habitat

    Vegetation and sometimes gardens. Unlike Z. X-notata, this spider is usually found a little way away from houses and human habitation, on bushes and rocks.

    When to see it

    Female can be seen all year round. The male is more likely to be encountered during the summer.

    Life History

    Zygiella atrica, like other Zygiella species, builds an orb web with two missing sectors and a signaling thread in the centre of those, leading to its hideout, whereas the young spiders build a complete web. Females of this species are among the few British orb-weavers to build webs all year round.

    UK Status

    Common and widespread throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Further Information

    2,436 British records for this species to 2015.

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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