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A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders
by Joseph K H Koh
  Silver Comb-Footed Spider
Argyrodes argentatus Pickard-Cambridge 1880
close-up showing silver abdomen
With the exception of Argyrodes flagellum, spiders of the genus Argyrodes in Singapore live in the webs of larger spiders. Classification: Family Theridiidae, Comb-Footed Spiders. Habitat: Webs of larger spiders including Nephila antipodiana.
Female: 2.5-3 mm.
Male: 2 mm.
Distribution: Singapore (new record), Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, India, China, Japan.
They are "food stealers", helping themselves to insects trapped in the web of the host, or prey stored by the host in the web, or a freshly killed victim that is being consumed by the host. Most of these "commensals" have long and thin legs and silvery spots on the bodies. The males have grotesque-looking bumps on their head. Presumably because they are too small, the hosts appear to tolerate their presence.

After mating, the male often seals the female's epigyne with a resinous plug preventing the female from further mating.

three dimensional webMost members of the family Theridiidae have a "comb" of serrated bristles on the last segment (tarsus) of the fourth leg. The comb helps to draw sticky threads of silk from the spinnerets to wrap any prey caught in the web. When the victim is securely enveloped in silk, the spider will then approach it and bite through the silky bundle, extinguishing any further signs of struggle. The snare is an irregular three-dimensional structure.
  From "A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders" by Joseph K. H. Koh
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by British Petroleum
© 2000 Joseph K H Koh