Many arthropods including insects and spiders exploit skylight polarization for navigation. One of the four eye pairs of the spider Drassodes cupreus is dedicated to detect skylight polarization. These eyes are equipped with a tapetum that strongly plane-polarizes reflected light. This effectively enhances the polarization-sensitivity of the photoreceptors, improving orientation performance. With a multidisciplinary approach, we demonstrate that D. cupreus exploits reflective elements also present in non-polarizing tapetal eyes of other species such as Agelena labyrinthica. By approximately orthogonal arrangement of two multilayer reflectors consisting of reflecting guanine platelets, the tapetum uses the mechanism of polarization by reflection for polarizing reflected light.