Female Meta mengei, copyright James K. Lindsey.

Belongs within: Tetragnathidae.

Meta is a cosmopolitan genus of orb-weaving spiders with long front legs and a simple epigynum that is little more than a small lobe (Forster & Forster 1999). The two lateral eyes on each side are placed on a common tubercle (Stoliczka 1869). Members of the genus spin vertical orb webs, often in caverns and rock crevices. The European cave spider M. menardi is widespread across the Palaearctic region and is one of the larger spiders found in northern Europe.

Meta Koch in Herrich-Shäffer 1835 [Metainae] PVD10
    |--*M. menardi (Latreille 1804) SC97
    |--M. adspersata Karsch 1892 K92
    |--M. arborea FF99
    |--M. argentata [=Tetragnatha argentata] K92
    |--M. gracilis Stoliczka 1869 S69
    |--M. graeffei (Keyserling 1865) [=Epeira graeffei] KK90
    |--M. latiuscula FF99
    |--M. melania [=Epeira melania] KK90
    |--M. mengei (Blackwall 1869) BH02
    |--M. merianae V09
    |--M. ovalis BS09
    |--M. reticuloides Yaginuma 1958 B11
    |--M. rufolineata (Urquhart 1889) PVD10 [=Linyphia rufolineata NS00, Taraire rufolineata PP21]
    |--M. selivira Koch & Keyserling 1887 KK90
    |--M. trivittata Koch & Keyserling 1887 KK90
    `--M. turbatrix Koch & Keyserling 1887 KK90

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BH02] Bell, J. R., A. J. Haughton, N. D. Boatman & A. Wilcox. 2002. Do incremental increases of the herbicide glyphosate have indirect consequences for spider communities? Journal of Arachnology 30 (2): 288–297.

[B11] Blackledge, T. A. 2011. Prey capture in orb weaving spiders: are we using the best metric? Journal of Arachnology 39 (2): 205–210.

[BS09] Blackledge, T. A., N. Scharff, J. A. Coddington, T. Szüts, J. W. Wenzel, C. Y. Hayashi & I. Agnarsson. 2009. Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106 (13): 5229–5234.

[FF99] Forster, R., & L. Forster. 1999. Spiders of New Zealand and their World-wide Kin. University of Otago Press: Dunedin (New Zealand).

[K92] Karsch, F. 1892. Arachniden von Ceylon und von Minikoy gesammelt von den Herren Doctoren P. und F. Sarasin. Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift 36 (2): 267–310.

[KK90] Koch, L., & E. Keyserling. 1884–1890. Die Arachniden Australiens nach der Natur beschrieben und abgebildet vol. 2. Bauer & Raspe: Nürnberg.

[NS00] Nicholls, D. C., P. J. Sirvid, S. D. Pollard & M. Walker. 2000. A list of arachnid primary types held in Canterbury Museum. Records of the Canterbury Museum 14: 37–48.

[PVD10] Paquin, P., C. J. Vink & N. Dupérré. 2010. Spiders of New Zealand: annotated family key and species list. Manaaki Whenua Press: Lincoln (New Zealand).

[PP21] Powell, E. C., C. J. Painting, A. J. Hickey, A. Machado & G. I. Holwell. 2021. Diet, predators, and defensive behaviors of New Zealand harvestmen (Opiliones: Neopilionidae). Journal of Arachnology 49: 122–140.

[SC97] Scharff, N., & J. A. Coddington. 1997. A phylogenetic analysis of the orb-weaving spider family Araneidae (Arachnida, Araneae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 120: 355–434.

[S69] Stoliczka, F. 1869. Contribution to the knowledge of Indian Arachnoidea. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 38 pt 2 (4): 201–251, pls 18–20.

[V09] Verdcourt, B. (ed.) 2009. Additions to the Wild Fauna and Flora of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. XXVI. Miscellaneous records. Kew Bulletin 64 (1): 183–194.

Last updated: 9 January 2022.

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