wide ribbon meshweaver

(Emblyna sublata)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

wide ribbon meshweaver



NNR - Unranked


not listed




Early spring through September




Body Length: 1 16 to (2 to 3.5 mm)

Legspan: 3 16 to ¼ (5 to 6 mm)

          Photo by Alfredo Colon

Wide ribbon meshweaver is a small mesh web weaver spider. It is widespread in eastern United States from Maine and Florida in the east to North Dakota and Texas in the west, and in adjacent Canadian provinces. Due to its small size it is seldom seen except in late summer, when its mesh web betrays it presence.

Adults are 1 16 to (2.5 to 3.5 mm) long.

The front part of the body (cephalothorax), consisting of the head and thorax, is pear shaped when viewed from above and slightly longer than wide. The hardened plate (carapace) covering the thorax of the female is slightly longer than wide, and dark brown to almost black. The head may be dark brown or bright orange. There are three narrow stripes of short white hairs on the head making the head appear much lighter. On the male, the carapace and head are uniformly bright orange, and there are no lines of white hairs. There are eight eyes in two rows of four. Six of the eyes are light in color. The two front middle eyes (anterior median eyes, or AME) are dark. The mouthparts (chelicerae), corresponding to the jaws, are bright orange and large compared to other spiders but slender and moderately long compared to other Emblyna species. They are strongly concavely curved when viewed from the side, and slightly bowed apart when viewed from the front. Taken together, they are only ¾ as wide as long, and they create a spindle-shaped (fusiform) opening. The inner margins are not toothed but have a conspicuous ridge.

The abdomen of the female is variable in color. It is often reddish-brown with a wide pale stripe down the middle. On some individuals, the pale stripe is broken with reddish-brown chevrons. On others, the abdomen is entirely dark brown to black. On the male, the abdomen is often bright orange, the same color as the thorax. On others, it is dark brown to black and it may show faint patterns of pale spots. In addition to six spinnerets, there is also a cribellum, a specialized silk-spinning organ. The cribellum has thousands of tiny spigots that produce extremely fine strands, resulting in silk threads with a woolly texture.

The legs are short and about equal in length. On the female they are white to pale yellow with no contrasting dark markings. The fifth segment of each leg (tibia) has a short spur at the base. On the male the legs are yellowish but sometimes the first two pairs are bright orange.





Life Cycle

Immature spiderlings overwinter in a bark crevice or in leaf litter on the ground.


The spider builds an irregular web on the upper surface of a leaf low on an herbaceous plant and sits in the middle. The web, unlike that of a web-spinning spider, does not have overhanging protection. The strands of the web are not sticky.

Distribution Distribution Map  


24, 29, 30.




Araneae (spiders)



Araneomorphae (true spiders)


No Rank:

Entelegynae (eight-eyed spiders)


No Rank:

RTA clade






Dictynidae (mesh web weavers)


This spider was formerly classified as Dictyna sublata.


Dictyna sublata


wide ribbon meshweaver










The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises. In crustaceans, it covers the cephalothorax.



The front part of the body of various arthropods, composed of the head region and the thoracic area fused together. Eyes, legs, and antennae are attached to this part.



The pair of stout mouthparts, corresponding to jaws, in arachnids and other arthropods in the subphylum Chelicerata.



The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.



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Alfredo Colon
  wide ribbon meshweaver   wide ribbon meshweaver
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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

wide ribbon meshweaver

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Created: 4/27/2019

Last Updated:

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