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Web debris spider (Cyclosa insulana).jpg
Web debris spider
(Cyclosa insulana)
Cyclosa octotuberculata.jpg
Camouflaged C. octotuberculata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
Genus: Cyclosa
Menge, 1866
Type species
C. conica
(Pallas, 1772)

180, see text

  • Parazygia

Cyclosa, also called trashline orbweavers,[2] is a genus of orb-weaver spiders first described by Anton Menge in 1866.[3] Widely distributed worldwide, spiders of the genus Cyclosa build relatively small orb webs with a web decoration. The web decoration in Cyclosa spiders is often linear and includes prey remains and other debris, which probably serve to camouflage the spider. The name "Cyclosa" comes from Greek 'to move in a circle', referring to how it spins its web.[2]

While most orb-web spiders face downwards in their web when waiting for prey, some Cyclosa species (e.g. C. ginnaga and C. argenteoalba) face upwards.[4]

Notable members[edit]

Cyclosa argenteoalba[edit]

Cyclosa argenteoalba builds two types of web, a traditional sticky spider web, and a resting web that consists of just a few strands. When infected with a larva of the wasp Reclinervellus nielseni, the spider switches on the behavior to build a resting web.[5] The larva then eats the spider and uses the web to complete metamorphosis.[6]

Cyclosa tremula[edit]

One small species from Guyana described under the nomen dubium C. tremula has a black and white pattern and rests in the center of an orb web with greyish "imitation spiders" it has created from prey remains. If the spider is disturbed, it vibrates its body, so that the black and white patches blur into grey, thus resembling the false spiders.[7]


Cyclosa sp. in north Queensland, Australia

As of April 2019 it contains 180 species:[1]


  1. ^ a b "Gen. Cyclosa Menge, 1866". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  2. ^ a b "Genus Cyclosa". BugGuide. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  3. ^ Menge, A. (1866). "Preussische Spinnen. Erste Abtheilung. Schriften der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Danzig". Schriften der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Danzig.
  4. ^ Nakata, Kensuke; Zschokke, Samuel (2010). "Upside-down spiders build upside-down orb webs: web asymmetry, spider orientation and running speed in Cyclosa". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Royal Society. 277 (1696): 3019–3025. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0729. PMC 2982030. PMID 20462900.
  5. ^ Takasuka, Keizo; Yasui, Tomoki; Ishigami, Toru; Nakata, Kensuke; Matsumoto, Rikio; Ikeda, Kenichi; Maeto, Kaoru (2015-08-01). "Host manipulation by an ichneumonid spider ectoparasitoid that takes advantage of preprogrammed web-building behaviour for its cocoon protection". Journal of Experimental Biology. 218 (15): 2326–2332. doi:10.1242/jeb.122739. ISSN 0022-0949. PMID 26246608.
  6. ^ Arielle Duhaime-Ross (August 6, 2015). "Zombie spider builds a stronger web for the parasitic wasp that's sucking its blood". The Verge. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
  7. ^ Oxford, G.S.; Gillespie, R.G. (1998). "Evolution and Ecology of Spider Coloration". Annual Review of Entomology. 43: 619–643. doi:10.1146/annurev.ento.43.1.619. PMID 15012400.