Dictynid Spider

Dictyna sp.


Photo © by Mike Plagens

This small spider was photographed using a Nikon CoolPix 990 on 15 Aug. 2002 at Phoenix, Arizona.

Dictynidae -- Mesh Web Weaver Spider Family

Dyctinid spiders are for the most part very small. The one pictured at left is less than 4 mm in length and is rather large for its kind. Dyctinid silk is special in that it traps insect prey not by virtue of sticky glue, but rather because the webbing is finely hackled and can snare the tiniest of projections or imperfections. This is a good strategy in the desert where glue might become dried out by the intense heat or gather too much dust to work effectively. Richman, Dean, Brantley, and Cutler have listed 72 Dictynid species in the southwestern United States.

This Dyctina snare is supported on Desert Broom (Baccharis sarathroides) and was photographed at Rackensack Canyon, Maricopa Co., Arizona on July 2008.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 22 Aug. 2002,
updated 18 March 2017.