Nephilengys cruentata (Hermit spider)

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


Nephilengys cruentata (Hermit spider). [photo Matjaž Kuntner ©]



Hermit spider females range from 20-25mm in body length while the males are 3-6mm long. The females are fairly variable in colour. The legs are banded in shades of light to dark or a reddish brown to black. The carapace is dark brown to black while the abdomen varies from a medium brown to black with various lighter markings or yellowish spots. The sternum is a bright red.

Distribution and habitat

The most synanthropic genera in the Nephilidae as it is commonly found around human dwellings.

Prey capture

The large webs are attached to tree trunks, rocks or often to buildings. The tubular retreat is situated at the top end against. Nephilengys are nocturnal, spending the day in their retreat and nights at the hub. Nephilengys uses white silk and does not construct a barrier knock down web.

Derivation of names

The generic name Nephilengys is derived from Greek, "nen and philos " meaning "fond of spinning" and “engy” meaning "near to" thus " relating to its habit of staying close to its retreat.

Publications (by date)

  • Kuntner M. 2007. A monograph of Nephilengys, the pantropical ‘hermit spiders’ (Araneae, Nephilidae, Nephilinae). Systematic Entomology 32: 95-135.

Text by Norman Larsen ©

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