Amaurobius spp.

Laceweb spiders, Amaurobius similis & Amaurobius fenestralis

Amaurobius fenestralis by Martin Askins
Amaurobius fenestralis by Martin Askins

Silken retreats, consisting of a lacy silken tunnel with an entrance surrounded by a collar of silk, can often be seen in old brick and stonewalls, gaps in wooden fences and cracks in fissured bark. These are made by Amaurobius similis and Amaurobius fenestralis that also make retreats beneath stones. During the day the occupant cannot usually be seen, but at night they can be seen near the tunnel entrance with the aid of light.

To entice a spider from its silken tunnel either during the day or at night, gently tickle the silken strands of the entrance with a piece of grass or matchstick and the spider will dash out and chase the offending object. Wandering woodlice, beetles and other insects fall victim to this spider as they crawl over the surface of the wall, fence or tree. Amaurobius occurs throughout Europe. Adults reach about 1cm in length.

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