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the web of life in southern Africa

Cyclosa (garbage line spiders)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata > Arachnida > Araneae > Araneomorpha > Family: Araneidae

Garbage line spider, Cyclosa sp. (above and right). [images N. Larsen ]

Cyclosa, the garbage line spider, is a diurnal genus with three species known from South Africa. Normally Cyclosa can be found in its web in grass or among the branches of bushes but also in nurseries and fences.  Cyclosa is derived from the Greek "kyclos" meaning "round" possibly with reference to its orb-web.

This is a small 5-11mm spider with an elongated abdomen ending in one to four tubercles. In colour the spider resembles that of the egg sacs and stabilimentum. The vertical orb-web measures about 150mm across and consists of many tightly woven radii and spirals. The stabilimentum of this spider's web runs vertically or occasionally horizontally through the hub and is decorated with the remains of prey, the spiders exuvia and bits of debris. The numerous egg sacs are usually incorporated into the stablimentum. At the hub the line is parted and the spider sits hidden amongst the debris.

Species indigenous to southern Africa

Cyclosa insulana



Cyclosa mulmeinensis



Cyclosa oculata



Text by Norman Larsen .