Metaltella simoni (Hacklemesh Weaver)

About Metaltella simoni

Taxonomic Hierarchy

→ Kingdom: Animalia
→ Phylum: Arthropoda
→ Class: Arachnida
→ Order: Araneae
→ Family: Amphinectidae
→ Genus: Metaltella
→ Species: Metaltella simoni

Other Common Names

Hacklemesh Weaver, Cribellate Spider

Author

Author of species name: Eugen von Keyserling. First year published: 1878, as Amaurobius simoni.

Pronunciation

meh-tall-TELL-uh see-MOHN-eye

Meaning

The genus name Metaltella is a combination of the name Altella (a genus of spiders in the family Dictynidae) with the morpheme “Meta” added to it (Cameron 2005). The prefix Meta- is sometimes added to an existing genus name in order to form a new name that means it is related to it. Altella is a name formed from the Latin adjective altus -a -um, meaning “high, tall, deep” (Cameron 2005). This probably refers to the convex cephalothorax of the female Altella (Cameron 2005); Metaltella also have a somewhat convex cephalothorax. Metaltella was originally in the same family (Dictynidae) as Altella until it was transferred from Dictynidae to Amaurobiidae by Pekka Lehtinen in 1967, and has since been transferred again from Amaurobiidae to Amphinectidae by Valerie Davies in 1998. The specific epithet (simoni) is in recognition of the important contributions of the French arachnologist, Eugène Simon. Quite a few species are named after him.

Identifying Traits of Metaltella simoni

Size

Body length (excluding legs) of adult female ranges from 6-10 mm; adult males range from 6-9 mm.

Female Primary Colors

Male Primary Colors

Eye diagram of Metaltella simoni

Eyes

Total of eight eyes; viewed from the front as two horizontal rows of four. Both rows slightly procurved.

Legs

Legs are of medium thickness and relatively long in relation to body size, especially so in adult males. All legs same color as carapace, usually without any markings, but occasionally some dusky bands are visible. Three claws on tip of each leg.

Body

These are medium-sized spiders whose overall color is typically light brown, burgundy, or various shades of orange. Abdomen is oval-shaped and darker in color than the carapace and legs. Often some pale triangle shapes are visible running the length of the abdomen. These are more conspicuous in adult males than they are in the adult females. The anterior (front) portion of the carapace, near the eyes, is darker than the rest of the carapace.

Range of Metaltella simoni

Metaltella simoni can be found in the following states, provinces and territories across the United States and Canada. Our current understanding of each spider's distribution is drawn from numerous scientific publications and online spider submissions, in order to be as accurate as possible. It is important to remember that spiders do not adhere to the territorial lines decided on by humans, therefore these ranges are subject to change.

Important Range Notes

This is a non-native species that was inadvertently introduced to the USA via commerce and trade; the first Nearctic record is from July 1944 in Harahan, Louisiana (Leech 1972). It is native to Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. Because it is so closely associated with humans, it is possible that this species may still pop up in areas outside of its known range on occasion; for example, a pair was once found in a greenhouse in Alberta, Canada, probably having been shipped along with the potted plants (Leech & Steiner 1992).

United States

Canada

Species not seen in Canada.

Additional Information

Habitat

Often found living under ground debris like logs, boards, and rocks, as well as under tree bark or within crevices in and around man-made structures. This species is quite at home as a synanthrope, but also gets along perfectly fine out in the wild.

Web

Builds a messy web retreat. The silk is not sticky but “fluffy” and tangled, produced from a special organ called the cribellum, located just in front of the spinnerets. The spider uses a brush on its fourth leg to comb out the silk, giving it the properties necessary to entangle prey.

Season

Mature specimens can typically be found at any time of year.

Food

Prey is any insect (or other arthropod) that becomes snagged in the webbing and can be subdued by the spider.

Lifecycle

Egg sacs are roughly globular and are suspended within the web. The female may camouflage them with debris (sand, dirt) she finds nearby. There does not seem to be much other published information on their life cycle, such as how many eggs per egg sac or how many broods the female produces in her lifetime.

Remarks

Pictures of Metaltella simoni

General

Female Spiders

Male Spiders

Filtering options are grayed out when we do not have pictures for the given perspective. If you are a spider photographer, you can submit pictures of spiders to help fill any voids in our ever expanding library.
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Lockport
  • State: Louisiana
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Baton Rouge
  • State: Louisiana
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Hilltop Arboretum, Baton Rouge
  • State: Louisiana
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • City/Region: Baton Rouge
  • State: Louisiana
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • City/Region: Hilltop Arboretum, Baton Rouge
  • State: Louisiana
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • City/Region: La Mesa
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Egg Sacs
  • City/Region: Bluefield Ranch, St. Lucie County
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Eyes, Gravid
  • City/Region: Atlanta
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • City/Region: Atlanta
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral
  • City/Region: Atlanta
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Metaltella simoni
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • City/Region: Atlanta
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States

References and Further Reading

Various Research Papers

Scientific Diagrams and Keys for Identification

References for the Casual Reader

Species guide last updated: April 29, 2016

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