Metellina sp.  (TETRAGNATHIDAE)

Metellina sp.

Metellina segmentata and Metellina mengei are probably the two most common species of orb web spiders throughout Europe. The male pedipalps are rather similar between the two species, and the presence or absence of long ventral hairs on tarsus and metatarsus 1 provides a useful secondary identifier. The epigynes of the two species are distinguishable more readily with a light microscope than with a scanning electron microscope. The photograph is of a male Metellina segmentata on the edge of a web occupied by a female.


Head and chelicerae of Metellina segmentata The bottom end of the chelicerae of Metellina segmentata Spinnerets of Metellina segmentata

Epigyne (female sexual organ) of Metellina segmentata Epigyne (female sexual organ) of Metellina mengei Tarsal claw of Metellina segmentata

Left Pedipalp (male sexual organ) of Metellina segmentata Tarsus 1 and metatarsus of Metellina segmentata (top) and M. mengei below. Note the long ventral hairs on the tarsus and metatarsus of M. mengei, which are a good aid to distinguishing between the two species. Left Pedipalp (male sexual organ) of Metellina mengei