Belongs to: spiders

Common stretch-spider Tetragnatha extensa

Also known as: long-jawed orb-weaver


Best time to see: May to Sep

Key facts

A spider that gets its name from its habit of stretching its legs out straight along a leaf for concealment

Usually found on plants low down over water, where it catches even sizeable insects such as damselflies

Widespread throughout Britain and across the northern hemisphere

Recognition

An elongated spider with a narrow body – up to 11mm in females, 9mm males – and long legs

Abdomen very variable in colour, from cream to green with dark lines

Lifecycle

Male and female lock jaws in a brief courtship, possibly to prevent the female from making a meal of her mate

Egg sacs resemble a bird dropping and are pressed against a plant stem

The young over-winter as spiderlings

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton