Oecobiidae (Starlegged Spiders)

The two genera within this family, Oecobius and Uroctea, were until recently divided into two separate families. Because of similarities in body structure, position of the eyes, and especially the appearance of the webs, they have merged into a single family. In Europe 12 species occur, most of them in the southern countries.

Genus Oecobius

The spiders are small (2–3 mm) and build a small disk-shaped carded web under stones or in buildings. This web has a lot of shoots running away from the entrance, therefore it looks a bit like a star. They have a distinctive, almost circular head and an elongated, slightly pointed abdomen. When disturbed, these spiders will run away quickly.

Genus Uroctea

Uroctea is about 15 mm, and therefore much larger than Oecobius. The web is of similar shape, but because of the spider’s size it is a lot bigger. It isn’t carded as well, because the spider cannot produce cribellate silk threads. It has six entrances and is more convex, making it appear as an igloo.