The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Erigone species

Fact Box
Species:
Erigone species (QM)
(possibly Erigone eisenschmidti but see notes below)
Family:
Linyphiidae
Body length:
female: about 4 mm
male: 2.5 mm
Habitat:
Uncertain; however, Erigone species are said to live primarily in moss and moist leaf litter or on pastures and low green vegetation where the humidity is high
Toxicity:
This species may be too small to be harmful but has never been tested so handle with caution
Erigone species
Click to enlarge
Oblique view
Click to enlarge
Massed ballooning

The male specimen shown on this page has the row of saw teeth along the outer edge of each chelicera) which is probably typical of Australian Erigone species. The photos of Erigone prominens (see this URL) found on Barrow Island in Western Australia are very similar to those shown on this page but Platnick's World Spider Catalog lists only E. eisenschmidti as a Queensland Erigone species. Curiously, the Catalog does not list Erigone prominens as being anywhere in Australia even though is was allegedly found on Barrow Island and, according to Jennifer Shield, also in Victoria.

The images presented on this page include one of an Australian paddock in which the grass is covered with an extraordinary amount of spider webbing. This phenomenon is said to be the result of multiple ballooning by linyphiids, especially those of the Erigoninae subfamily. It is most often seen after a heavy morning dew or flooding of the area and presumably is the spiders' response to the presence of a very high humidity.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some small araneid and theridiid species.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 26 November 2012.