Tetragnatha

Picture ID 72385

Picture of Tetragnatha - Male - Dorsal

Comments & ID Thoughts

I pulled in to our beach house around 10pm last night and found literally hundreds of these things crawling around on the fence and garage door. There were about a dozen other, larger spiders nearby (see my second post) so the spiders didn’t seem to mind each other.

I took a picture of this one this morning, and it was one of forty of these that have taken over the exterior of my minivan. I’d like help identifying them to determine what, if any, threat they may pose to my little kids (other than that the kids are totally creeped out by the sheer number of these spiders).

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TangledWebSunriseBohemian_TeachCalumEwing Recent comment authors
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CalumEwing
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This is one of the Long-jawed Orb Weavers, one of the Tetragnatha species (this one is a male), in the family Tetragnathidae. Some of the Tetragnatha species practice communal web building where their webs are adjacent to each other and sometimes connected together. They are not aggressive or dangerous and can catch an amazing amount of insect prey, especially when they occur in large numbers as you have seen.

Sunrise
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I am in Edenton, NC. A spider that looks like this one makes prolific webs around the leads of a shrub and apparently lays eggs on the back of the leaves and kills that part of the shrub. How can I stop them?

TangledWeb
Member

My guess is that they aren’t killing the shrubs, they are probably there to eat an insect infestation that is eating the shrubs. I haven’t heard of spiders harming plants. I think there is only one kind of herbivorous spider and this isn’t it. Orbweavers sometimes use their webs to form a cage around an insect-infested plant. The insects might not be able to leave it,or stay there, alive. I recommend checking the shrub for other signs of insect damage and watching what the spiders eat there.

Additional Pictures

Picture of Tetragnatha spp. - Lateral Enlarge Picture
Picture of Tetragnatha spp. - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
Picture of Tetragnatha spp. Enlarge Picture
Picture of Tetragnatha spp. - Dorsal Enlarge Picture