234 spp. in 32 genera in our area (over 2200 spp. in 96 genera worldwide) (1)
In separating Theridiidae from Linyphiidae (1)
Theridiidae have first legs usually longest, third legs shortest. Also fourth legs usually with comb macrosetae (indistinct in Dipoena & Euryopis). Legs have no thick setae and no femoral macrosetae.
Linyphiidae have legs long & thin with macrosetae. (Hairs on males somewhat reduced.) They have long sensory hairs on the first three legs, sometimes on all four legs.
Theridiidae have abdomen usually round, rarely elongate.
Linyphiidae abdomen usually oval or elongated.
family may not be a monophyletic group
genera Achaearanea, Anelosimus
, and Theridion
are known to contain subsocial species, but the only social spiders in our area are in the genus Anelosimus
Spiders with very small (if strong) jaws (such as crab spiders and cobweb weavers) make small holes in the prey and vomit their digestive fluid into the prey's body, the end result being a hollow shell with some or most of the muscles and internal organs digested and sucked out. (2)