Dictynidae
Branch-tip Spiders

Diagnostic Features:

These spiders are either eyeless, have six or eight eyes in two rows. For these spiders the anterior lateral spinnerets are separated and the posterior lateral spinnerets are longer than the anterior lateral spinnerets. There are two main categories of spiders in this species cribellate or ecribellate, which have different distinguishing characteristics. The cribellate spiders in this family are mainly small (<4mm), normally don’t have leg macrosetae and have a long row of setae (called calamistrum) on the metatarsus IV. Ecribellate species in this family are generally larger (>4mm) and have prominent macrosetae.

 

Family Distribution:

World wide with most species found in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

Interesting Natural History Notes:

The cribellate spiders in this make irregular mesh webs on the tips of branches and under leaves, on flower stalks and even high in the canopy of forests. The ecribellate are found on ground level or under ground.

 

Origin of Latin Name:

The root of this name comes from the name “Dictynna” which is another name for the Greek Goddess of the hunt, Artemis.

 

Genera found in the Northeastern United States:

Cicurina, Lathys, Iviella, ARgenna, Emblyna, Dictyna, Phantyna

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