Theridiidae
Cobweb Weavers

Diagnostic Features:

Eight eyes in tow rows with four median eyes and two pairs of lateral eyes that are normally next to each other. The chelicerae are slightly sclerotized and come to a point. These spiders also have a tarsal comb on the fourth leg. In addition in most spiders in this family the colonus is either gone or highly reduced.

 

Family Distribution:

Worldwide

 

Interesting Natural History Notes:

TThese spiders are the ones that are responsible for making cobwebs. They make large messy sticky sheet webs attached to the ground. Most of the time these spiders can be found hanging upside down in the middle of the web. Some species from this family can actually be found on other species webs or and may feed on them or their eggs.

 

Origin of Latin Name:

From the Greek word meaning ‘small beast’ came the Latin word Theridium which is the root for this families name.

 

Genera found in the Northeastern United States:

Phoroncidia, Theonoe, Latrodectus, Rhomphaea, Argyrodes, Pholcomma, Euryopis, Spintharus, Chrosiothes, Anelosimus, Wamba, Achaearanea, Thymoites, Theridula