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A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders
by Joseph K H Koh
  Common Big-Jawed Spider
Tetragnatha mandibulata Walckenaer 1841
close-up of female
Nocturnal. Often seen building or repairing its web at dusk.

Feeds on mosquitoes. In the daytime, the spider hides underneath leaves or branches nearby. Eggs are laid in a brown woolly cocoon fastened to the underside of a leaf.
Classification: Family Tetragnathidae
Big-Jawed Spiders.
Habitat: Lives near water, at the edge of streams, ponds and reservoirs.
Female: 13 mm.
Male: 13 mm.
Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Northern Australia.
Members of this family build delicate orb-webs with open hubs. The webs are suspended horizontally or in an inclined plane.
Members of the species Tetragnatha are stick-like spiders with long legs and well-developed jaws. The male jaws are particularly elongated and are equipped with a spur each. These are instrumental in locking the jaws of the female during mating. Most Tetragnatha spiders appear superficially similar. They can, however, be identified by examining the arrangement of teeth on the jaws.  

diagram of jawLeft: T. mandibulata
female's right jaw, lower view

diagram of jaw

T. mandibulata
male's left jaw, upper view

  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