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Candy-stripe Spider Enoplognatha ovata / Enoplognatha latimana

The Candy-stripe Spider uses its wires mainly to construct a web to catch insects. It looks like a crab spider very much, but actually it is a closer relative of the European Garden Spider. The species is very variable: in most cases there is a red lining of the back. However in some cases the red may be absent, while other specimens are showing a back which is completely red. The Comb-footed Spiders make an efficient web: it is small and contains a lot of wires. The upperside is firmly attached to a plant. The other sides are only just attached. An insect flying into the web will cause all sides to loosen, except for the top. The prey then dangles helplessly in the air and quickly gets more entangled by the entangling wires. But other Comb-footed Spiders just jump on their prey. Like so many other spiders the Candy-striped Spider is capable of cathching very big prey.

This species presents us with a problem. Because what we usually refer to as the Candy-stripe Spider actually is not just one species, but two. In most publications people refer to Enoplognatha ovata as being the Candy-stripe Spider and they tend to forget Enoplognatha latimana, which is just as common. There is no way to tell the two apart, except by studying the genitals. In order to do this, one has to kill the animal. That is something we don't do for this site. Wouldn't make much difference anyway.