San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide
Araneus gemma adult female, copyright Jim Berrian
Adult female

Mallos pallidus



Females measure a total length of 2.25-5mm. The carapace is black with white stripes and the abdomen is brown with white hairs on its sides. The chelicerae are straight not bowed. Usually the cribellum appears split. Males generally measure 3mm in length, but the color pattern is similar to that of the females.

Range and Habitat

Mallos pallidus from Texas to Montana and west to the Pacific states. In San Diego County it has been found in chaparral meadows. This is a common species in tall grass habitats.

Araneus gemma adult female. Photo copyright Jim Berrian
Adult female

Natural History

Webs are made of non-sticky tanglefoot and are irregular in form.

Related and Similar Species

Mallos is rather typical of the family. They are mostly small spiders that weave irregular tanglefoot webs. They all possess a cribellum and calamistrum. Dictyna is the largest genus and most are identified by having bowed chelicerae.


Chamberlin, R.V. and W.J. Gertsch, 1958. The spider family Dictynidae in America north of Mexico. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 116(1):1-152.

Text by Jim Berrian. Photos © Jim Berrian.

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