, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 1–17 | Cite as

The silk-producing system ofLinyphia triangularis (Araneae, Linyphiidae) and some comparisons with Araneidae

Structure, histochemistry and function
  • Hans M. Peters
  • Jacqueline Kovoor


The spinning apparatus ofLinyphia triangularis, adult females and males, was studied with the scanning electron microscope and the main anatomical and histochemical characteristics of the silk glands, including the epigastric apparatus of males, are presented. The epigastric glands seem to be important for the construction of sperm webs. A detailed account of the use of the different kinds of silk in web building is given.

The spinning apparatus ofLinyphia closely corresponds to the araneid pattern. Characteristic of linyphiid spiders is the poor development of the aciniform glands. Corresponding to the minor importance of capture threads forLinyphia, the triads (aggregate and flagelliform glands) are less developed than in Araneidae.Linyphia make much less use of the secretions of the piriform glands for connecting threads than Araneidae. Capture threads adhere to other threads by their own glue; other threads seem mostly to be bound to one another by the secretion of the minor ampullate glands whose chemical properties, inLinyphia, appear especially adapted to this function. Neither the anatomical and histochemical data concerning the spinning apparatus nor the structure of the webs provide any indication of close relationships between Linyphiidae and Agelenidae, as was recently claimed.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Apstein C (1889) Bau und Funktion der Spinndrüsen der Araneida. Arch Naturgesch 55:29–74Google Scholar
  2. Blanke R (1975) Das Sexualverhalten der GattungCyrtophora als Hilfsmittel für phylogenetische Aussagen. Proc 6th Int Arachn Congr 1974:116–119Google Scholar
  3. Bristowe WS (1958) The world of spiders. Collins, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Coddington JA (1989) Spinneret silk spigot morphology, evidence for the monophyly of orb weaving spiders. Cyrtophorinae (Araneidae) and the group of Theridiidae and Nesticidae. J Arachnol 17: 71–95Google Scholar
  5. Denny M (1976) The physical properties of spider's silk and their role in the design of orb-webs. J Exp Biol 65:347–361Google Scholar
  6. Hopfmann S (1935) Bau und Leistung des Spinnapparates einiger Netzspinnen. Jena Z Naturwiss 70:65–111Google Scholar
  7. Kaston BJ (1964) The evolution of spider webs. Am Zool 4:191–237Google Scholar
  8. Kovoor J (1976) Caractères adaptatifs et caractères familiaux des glands séricigènes dans le genreHippasa E. Simon (Araneae, Lycosidae). C R 3e Coll Arachn Expr fr, Les Eyzies, pp 83–96Google Scholar
  9. Kovoor J (1977) La soie et les glandes séricigènes des Arachnides. Année Biol 16:97–171Google Scholar
  10. Kovoor J (1987) Comparative structure and histochemistry of silk-producing organs in arachnids. In: Nentwig W (ed) Ecophysiology of spiders. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 160–186Google Scholar
  11. Kovoor J, Lopez A (1982) Anatomie et histologie des glandes séricigènes desCyrtophora (Araneae, Araneidae): affinités et corrélations avec la structure et la composition de la toile. Rev Arachnol 4:1–21Google Scholar
  12. Kovoor J, Lopez A (1988) L'appareil séricigène desMecynogea Simon (Araneae, Araneidae). Rev Arachnol 7:205–212Google Scholar
  13. Kovoor J, Peters HM (1988) The spinning apparatus ofPolenecia producta (Araneae, Uloboridae): Structure and histochemistry. Zoomorphology 108:47–59Google Scholar
  14. Kullmann E (1958) Beobachtung des Netzbaues and Beiträge zur Biologie vonCyrtophora citricola Forskal (Araneae, Araneidae) (Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Phylogenie der Radnetzspinnen). Zool Jb Syst 86:181–216Google Scholar
  15. Kullmann R (1971) Bemerkenswerte Konvergenzen im Verhalten cribellater und ecribellater Spinnen. Freunde Kölner Zoo 13 (1970/71): 123–150Google Scholar
  16. Lopez A, Emerit M (1988) New data on the epigastric apparatus of male spiders. Bull Br Arachnol Soc 7:220–224Google Scholar
  17. Marples BJ (1949) An unusual type of web constructed by a Samoan spider of the family Argiopidae. N Z Science Congr 1947:232–233Google Scholar
  18. Millidge AF (1988) The relatives of the Linyphiidae: phylogenetic problems at the family level (Araneae). Bull Br Arachnol Soc 7:253–268Google Scholar
  19. Nielsen E (1932) The biology of spiders. With special reference to the Danish fauna. Levin Munksgaard, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  20. Peters HM (1982) Wie Spinnen der Familie Uloboridae ihre Beute einspinnen und verzehren. Verh Naturwiss Ver, Hamburg (NF) 25:147–167Google Scholar
  21. Peters HM (1987) Fine structure and function of capture threads. In: Nentwig W (ed) Ecophysiology of spiders. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 187–202Google Scholar
  22. Peters HM (1990) On the structure and glandular origin of bridging lines used by spiders for moving to distant places. Acta Zool Fenn 190:309–314Google Scholar
  23. Peters HM, Kovoor J (1980) Un complément à l'appareil séricigène des Uloboridae: le paracribellum et ses glandes. Zoomorphology 96:91–102Google Scholar
  24. Schlott M (1931) Biologische Studien anAgelena labyrinthica. Z Morphol Ökol Tiere 24:1–77Google Scholar
  25. Vollrath F, Edmonds DT (1989) Modulation of the mechanical properties of spider silk by coating with water. Nature 340 (6231):305–307Google Scholar
  26. Wasowska S (1966) Comparative morphology of the spinning fields in females of some spider species. Zool Pol 16:9–30Google Scholar
  27. Wiehle H (1928) Beiträge zur Biologie der Araneen, insbesondere zur Kenntnis des Radnetzbaues. Z Morphol Ökol Tiere 11:115–151Google Scholar
  28. Wiehle H (1956) Spinnentiere oder Arachnoidea (Araneae). 28. Familie Linyphiidae-Baldachinspinnen. In: Dahl M, Bischoff H (eds) Die Tierwelt Deutschlands. 44. Teil Fischer, Jena, pp 1–337Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans M. Peters
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Kovoor
    • 2
  1. 1.Abteilung VerhaltensphysiologieUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Zoologie (Arthropodes)Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle-C.N.R.S.Paris Cédex 05France

Personalised recommendations