different cobweb weaver

(Theridion differens)

Conservation Status
different cobweb weaver
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked


not listed


Different cobweb weaver is a small tangleweb spider. It occurs across the United States and southern Mexico. It is found in bushes and small trees and on grasses.

Females are 116 to (1.6 to 3.5 mm) in length and have a 316 to ¼ (5.7 to 6.3 mm) legspan. Males are smaller, 116 to (1.8 to 2.5 mm) in length.

The front part of the body (cephalothorax) is flat and short, slightly longer than wide. The upper side (carapace) is usually orange, sometimes yellow. It is shiny and has few hairs. There is a more or less distinct longitudinal stripe in the middle and a thin black line on the lateral margins. A longitudinal depression in the middle, if visible, is indistinct. The underside is orange. On the male the carapace may be slightly darkened in the middle but there is no distinct stripe.

There are eight eyes arranged in two parallel rows of four eyes each. The front (anterior) row is straight when viewed from the front and the rear (posterior) row is straight when viewed from above. On each side the lateral eyes are widely separated from the middle (median) eyes and are almost touching each other. All of the eyes are small. The anterior median eyes (AME) are slightly larger and are dark, while the rest of the eyes are pearly. The jaws (chelicerae) have one or two strong teeth on the front margin and no teeth on the rear margin. The chelicerae on the male are much larger than on the female.

The abdomen is dark reddish-brown and rounded, almost spherical but slightly flattened in front. On the female there is a prominent stripe in the middle bordered by white or yellow. The stripe is scalloped, paler, and sometimes orangish or reddish. On the male the stripe is indistinct or absent.

The legs are long, slender, and yellow on the female, orange on the male. There are usually dark brown bands in the middle and at the tip of both the fifth segment (tibia) and the sixth segment (metatarsus). The first pair of legs is the longest, the third pair is the shortest. On the female, the fourth pair is longer than the second pair. On the male that is reversed, the second pair is longer than the fourth pair. On the front pair the fourth segment (patella) and tibia, taken together, is at least one and a half times as long as carapace. There is a row of 6 to 10 slightly curved bristles (“comb”) on the last segment (tarsus) of each hind leg. This is the feature that gives the family one of its common names. There are three claws at the end of each tarsus, but these are not visible to the naked eye.




Female Body Length: 116 to (1.6 to 3.5 mm)

Male Body Length: 116 to (1.8 to 2.5 mm)

Legspan: 316 to ¼ (5.7 to 6.3 mm)




The web consists of a small tent, barely large enough to contain the spider, and an irregular network of lines radiating out from the tent. It may be two to three inches in diameter, depending on the vegetation on which it is built. The egg sac is white and is usually attached to the web, sometimes to the underside of a leaf.


Similar Species












Life Cycle








Distribution Map



24, 29, 30.

Levi, H. W. (1957a). The spider genera EnoplognathaTheridion, and Paidisca in America north of Mexico (Araneae, Theridiidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 112: 1-124.





  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  


Araneae (spiders)  


Araneomorphae (typical spiders)  
  Infraorder Entelegynae (entelegyne spiders)  
  Superfamily Araneoidea (araneoid spiders)  


Theridiidae (cobweb spiders)  


Theridion (typical cobweb spiders)  



Allotheridion differens

Theridion spirale


Common Names


different cobweb weaver











The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises. On crustaceans, it covers the cephalothorax. On spiders, the top of the cephalothorax made from a series of fused sclerites.



The front part of the body of various arthropods, composed of the head region and the thoracic area fused together. Eyes, legs, and antennae are attached to this part.



The pair of stout mouthparts, corresponding to jaws, in arachnids and other arthropods in the subphylum Chelicerata.



The fourth segment of a spider leg, after the femur and before the tibia.



On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.



The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.





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Alfredo Colon

    different cobweb weaver      
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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, MN

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Created: 2/7/2022

Last Updated:

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