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spider Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spiders

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Scientific name:  Tetragnatha extensa

Size:  Males up to 9mm and females up to 11mm

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK

Months seen:  May to September

Habitat:  Found on low growing vegetation, usually near water or boggy areas

Food:  Flies and other small invertebrates

Special features:  Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spiders, sometimes called Common Stretch Spiders spin an orb web to catch their prey.  They're usually found in vegetation close to ground level and frequently close to water.  The elongated body can vary in colour from creamy-yellow to green or pale brown.  The legs are a yellow-brown colour.

The scientific name 'Tetragnatha' literally means four jaws, and these spiders do have some seriously large food processing utensils attached to their heads.  The jaws (known as 'chelicerae') are hinged with the fangs at the tips, and when mating the male has to lock his jaws on the females to prevent her eating him.

When frightened Long-jawed Orb-weaver spiders lie flat out with their legs stretched out in a straight line.  This allows them to hide behind thin vegetation.

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