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Dictynidae (Meshweb Weavers)

The spiders of this family are generally not larger than 5 mm. They build an irregular, messy web in the top of a plant or on the surface of a leaf. A total of 70 species occur in Europe.

Genus Cicurina

These small to medium sized spiders mainly occur in North America, where a number of species lives in caves. These cave spiders have a reduced number of eyes or no eyes at all. In Europe only three species occur. The species that do not live in caves are often found under stones in forest areas. They make a very delicate and fine web without a retreat. They are rarely seen during the day, unless they are disturbed.


Genus Dictyna

Dictyna builds its web preferably in the top of a high dead plant. Mating takes place in the summer. Afterwards, the two spiders remain together for a couple of weeks until the male dies. Sometimes he is then eaten by the female. The female places the lens-shaped egg sacs, of which she can make 4-6, in the retreat of the web.
The species of this genus are often difficult to distinguish from each other. The light hairs, which constitute the species-specific pattern on the dark surface, can easily be rubbed off as the spider ages.


Genus Marilynia

Unfortunately there is very little information available about these spiders. The genus contains only two species worldwide.


Genus Nigma

The spiders of this genus (formerly Heterodictyna) build their web on the surface of a leaf that curles upwards. As with Dictyna mating takes place in summer, after which the male remains with the female for a couple of weeks, until he dies. The female builds a big lens-shaped egg sac that she suspends from her web or builds outside the web in a hidden place.