Sheetweb Spiders

Diagnostic Features:

They are very small (all under 1 cm) with three claws and no cribellum. They are distinguishable from other families by miniscule features such as the autospasy on the patella-tibia connection of the legs.


Family Distribution:

They are found world wide, with high concentrations in North America


Interesting Natural History Notes:

They are carnivorous, eating springtails and flies, among other soft bodied insects. They occur more in wetland and peatland areas even though they are found across the globe. Few are present as adults for more than a year. They usually spend winter as juveniles, hibernating, or remaining active under the snow.


Origin of Latin Name:

The name originates from Greek roots meaning “flax weaver”.


Genera found in the Northeastern United States:

Pityohyphantes, Allomengea, Bathyphantes, Neriene, Microlinyphia, Stemonyphantes, Helophora, Lepthyphantes, Tapinopa, Drapetisca, Estrandia, Oreophantes, Centromerus, Sougambus, Hilaira, Frontinella, Agyneta, Ostearius, Maro, Ceraticelus