The East African Dwarf Spider (Microlinyphia aethiopia) is an arachnid in the Linyphiidae family of dwarf spiders.
The East African Dwarf Spider has a dark-brown abdomen with a light-brown carapace (shell). The male has a more pointed abdomen than the female. It has eight brown legs covered with hairs. It has tooth-like pedipalps near its mouth. It has two rows of four eyes to total eight eyes. The back row of eyes is straight and the front row of eyes is slightly curved.
It grows to 1-3 centimetres (up to one inch) in length.
It is found in East African countries, such as Kenya and Ethiopia. It lives in in grasslands in sheet webs or blanket webs that it builds close to the ground. It makes its web from spider silk that is released from its spinnerets.
It feeds on aphids and other small insects that it catches in its web.
The female has egg sacs that contain her eggs. She dies within 10 days of making her last egg sac. The clutch size is 12-14 eggs inside each sac. The eggs hatch into spiderlings.
Location of photographs: Nairobi, Kenya
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM