The Funnel Spider in High Definition

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Agelena labyrinthica is a species of spider in the family Agelenidae, which contains 1146 species of funnel-web spiders. It is a widespread species in Europe, where there are 180 species, and in Central Europe, where there are 30 species currently spiders typically range in size from 8--12 millimetres ( in) for males and 10--14 mm ( in) for females. Agelena labyrinthica, however, has a body length of up to 18 mm ( in). The abdomen is dark with a pale central band flanked by white chevron marks. The cephalothorax is yellow-brown and bears two, broad longitudinal stripes positioned towards the front of the and habitatA. labyrinthica build flat surface webs connected to funnel-shaped retreats similar to labyrinths, which are typically constructed between low lying grass and vegetation. These webs can be at ground level, or up to metres (4 ft 11 in) from the ground, however, the majority are found approximately 60 centimetres (24 in) off of the ground. These spiders are fairly common in Europe and Central Europe, and are typically concentrated in areas near forests and low lying vegetation, as well as in dry to all spiders in the family Agelenidae, is the prominent pair of two segmented posterior spinnerets. However, in A. labyrinthica these segmented spinnerets are further elongated, with the second segment being almost twice the length of the basal segment. Another morphological feature of A. labyrinthica is the spider's venom apparatus. Showing many similarities with the species Loxosceles intermadia, the venom glands of A. labyrinthica generally consists of paired structures located in the spider's abdomen. These paired structures interact with two ducts that lead into the spider's fangs. The venom glands of A. labyrinthica are considered to be relatively large, and extend out of the chelicerae to reach the middle of the abdomen. The venom glands of A. labyrinthica also are unique in that they are long and tubular and are surrounded by a layer of muscles that encircle the organsDifferent from other spiders in the family Agelenidae, the A. labyrinthica, has a set of at least four trichobothria on the upper side of their tarsus of the first pair of legs. A. labyrinthica have approximately 25 trichobothria per walking leg. These hairs help the spider detect prey that has been caught in its web, or even prey that is near enough to cause vibrations in its web. The trichobothria hairs essentially act as a long-distance sensory system for A. labyrinthica that helps them detect prey with great accuracy and Credit: PristurusLicense: CC BY-SA

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