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Thu 25th October 2012 11:12 by Peter Harvey
Re: Web on Rush
Dear Roland

It is my opinion that there is no definitive Larinioides cornutus retreat, it is something each spider creates depending on the precise situation of the web and vegetation, so whilsts their retreats will have similarity, nothing will identify the retreat to the species. Even with the presence of an orb web you could not be certain it was not a different orb web spider - many species make a retreat. It is not therefore possible to identify the spider to species level from either the retreat, web or egg sac. There are practically no spiders which can be identified in this way, the egg sacs of the tiny theridiid Paidiscura pallens being one example of very few where one can identify the spider responsible (see Paidiscura pallens summary page). Generally (of course there are always exceptions) whole families spin similar webs and whilst some clues might narrow then range of possibilities, none will enable reliable species identification, at best educated guesswork with a range of answers.

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