Female with tuning fork on carapace and dark figure on abdomen ©Cor Kuijpers

European sheetweb spider

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Male and female live together in the same web for a while and often catch prey together. During this period, the male tries to scare away other males. If the female is fertilized and well-fed, she will neglect to restore her web and it will gradually degrade. At this point, the female will lay an egg sac after which she stops eating and quickly dies.

European sheetweb spider (Linyphia triangularis)

Web: Sheetweb with ascending threads above the sheet and stabilizing threads underneath.

Habitat: not selective at all. Can be found in many different habitats, as long as there is a possibility to construct a web. Usually in vegetation, such as higher grass, herbs and shrubs. Usually between 30 cm from the ground, ranging up to 2 m. 

How to recognize:

  • dark midstripe in the shape of a tuning fork on the cephalothorax
  • typical dark drawing on the abdomen (fades with age as the rest of the abdomen gets darker).
  • adult male has large, diverging jaws
  • one of our largest sheetweb spiders

Looks similar to:

  • ao. Linyphia tenuipalpis and Pityohypanthes phrygianus (both much more rare)


♀: 5-7mm

♂: 4,6-7mm


♀: From middle of August till end of October, sometimes until December. Lives longer than male

♂: From middle of August till end of October