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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Spiders

Staphylinidae

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Beginner

Scientific Name
N/A

Identification

  • Spiders are not insects.
  • The body has two regions, the cephalothorax and abdomen.
  • Four pairs of legs.
  • Several different types of found within the tree canopy, on branches and on the trunk.
  • Foliage hunting spiders (jumping spiders, crab spiders and sac spiders) hunt for prey in foliage by physically grabbing them.
  • Foliage web builders (orb weavers, cobweb spiders, meshweb weavers and sheetweb spiders) all spin webs to trap their prey. 
  • Other spiders live on the ground under debris, in silk-lined burrows.  

Often Confused With
Spiders are readily distinguished from apple pests and from other natural enemies found in apple orchards.  

Interaction With Host
Spiders are generalist feeders that prey on many different insect pests of apple and other arthropods in the orchard.

Period of Activity
Petal fall through pre-harvest.

Insects Attacked
Many insects and mites.

Monitoring and Management
Note the presence of spiders when monitoring in orchards. Many are nocturnal and are difficult to see during routine scouting activities.

Advanced

Scientific Name
N/A

Identification
Spiders are not insects. The body of the spider has two regions, the cephalothorax and abdomen. Unlike insects, which have three pairs of legs, spiders have four pairs of legs. There are several different types of spiders found within the tree canopy, on branches and on the trunk. Foliage hunting spiders (jumping spiders, crab spiders and sac spiders) hunt for prey in foliage by physically grabbing them. Foliage web builders (orb weavers, cobweb spiders, meshweb weavers and sheetweb spiders) all spin webs to trap their prey.  Other spiders live on the ground under debris, in silk-lined burrows.  

Some of the more common groups of spiders include:

  • Jumping spiders-active hunters, stout bodied short legged with prominent front eyes and a hairy body (2-20 mm in size).  These are the most common spiders found in orchards.
  • Crab spiders sit and wait for their prey, then ambush then.  Their first two pairs of legs face forward like a crab.
  • Sac spiders are pale with few markings.  They construct tubular retreats in rolled up leaves and pop out to attack their prey.
  • Orb weavers are large in size (2-35 mm in size) and usually black or yellow in colour.
  • Cobweb spiders have a large rounded abdomen with bent legs and are found hanging upside down in spun webs.
  • Meshweb weavers are small (<1 cm) and stout, spinning small webs on the top surface of leaves. 
  • Sheetweb spiders are small and rarely seen.  Their loose and messy webs are built between shrubs or other vegetation and are flat and sheet-like (sometimes bowl or dome shaped).  The spider is usually found under the web.

Often Confused With
Spiders are readily distinguished from apple pests and from other natural enemies found in apple orchards.   

Interaction With Host
Spiders are generalist feeders that prey on many different insect pests of apple and other arthropods in the orchard.

Period of Activity
Petal fall through pre-harvest.

Insects Attacked
Many insects and mites.

Monitoring and Management
Note the presence of spiders when monitoring in orchards. Many are nocturnal and are difficult to see during routine scouting activities.