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Linyphiidae Helophora insignis

Order: Araneae

Family: Linyphiidae (Sheet Web Spiders)

Subfamily: Linyphiinae

Genus: Helophora

This spider has eight eyes, but the posterior and anterior lateral eyes are so close together that they may be mistaken for two large eyes (see picture). The body is white and pale brown with a ring of darker spots. The legs are very long and thin, and have many relatively long spines (see picture). The body of the male is quite thin, the females are broader. The female is 3.5-4.0 mm and the male is 3.0-3.5 mm.

Bogs and wet meadows, sometimes deciduous and coniferous leaf litter.

Linyphiidae, Sheetweb Spiders, build bowl-shaped webs that open downwards. Above the bowl, other silk strands are constructed. Insects fly into the strands and fall onto the bowl. The spider then bites its prey through the web. The spider does not build a retreat in which it eats or molts ; it remains under the bowl and uses it for protection. Helophora have special structures on their fangs that they can rub together to make sounds used in mating, and possibly in territorial behavior.

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Last updated 12/13/2004