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Reddish Vale Country Park

Tetragnatha Extensa

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This species is one of our commonest spiders, it has an elongated, cream-coloured body. Males are smaller than females, at around 9 millimetres (0.35 in) body length, compared to 11 mm (0.43 in) for females. The four pairs of legs are very long, and are dark yellow.

 

Tetragnatha extensa is found on low-growing vegetation, usually in damp areas. It feeds on insects, including mosquitos, midges and moths, which it catches in its loosely-constructed web. When alarmed, it will sit along a plant stem, a blade of grass or the central vein of a leaf, with its four front legs pointing forwards, and its four back legs pointing backwards for camouflage. Tetragnatha Extensa is able to walk on the surface of water, where it can move faster than on land.

 

Adults are seen between May and September in the United Kingdom, and between May and July in Alaska. There is little courtship, and the male and female lock jaws, possibly to prevent the female from eating the male before mating. The egg sacs are globular and covered with grey tufted silk, resembling a bird dropping, and are pressed against a plant stem. Overwintering occurs in the form of early-instar spiderlings.

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Tetragnatha Extensa

Tetragnatha Extensa