Scientific Facts
Web building

Orb Web Weavers


Golden Orb-Weaver 1
Golden Orb-Weaver 2 
Diamond Comb-footed
Platform Comb-footed 

More on

Family Theridiidae, Comb-Footed Spiders

They are commonly called Comb-Footed Spiders. Usually they build tangled webs under stones, between very close tree trunks, against fences or walls. 
The spiders in this family are usually small in size. The distinguishing feature of this family is the row of spines on the tip of the fourth legs, which are used to comb out wide swathes of silk to entangle their prey. Their eyes are in two rows of four.

Grey House Spider
Achaearanea tepidariorum, body length 7mm
This spider builds untidy tangled webs near the wall and amongst the trees. The web may include a curled leaf as a retreat. The body shape looks like a Red-back Spider but different in colours. This spider is mottled cream-brown and the legs are red-brown. More information can be found on this page.
Diamond Comb-footed Spider
DSC_5435.jpg (86837 bytes)  wpeD.jpg (14809 bytes)
Achaearanea veruculata, body length 4mm
We sometimes found this small spider with tangled webs on plants in our backyard. The Diamond Comb-Footed Spiders are common in Brisbane Eucalypt forest. They usually build tangled webs between large but very close smooth-bark gum tree trunks. They are grey to reddish-brown in colour with a diamond pattern on the abdomen. We have more information and pictures in this page. 
Comb-footed Platform Spider
PWC_6553.jpg (92595 bytes)  DSC_1633m.jpg (121194 bytes)
Achaearanea mundula,  body length female 7mm, male 4mm
The Comb-footed Platform Spiders are common in Brisbane eucalypt forest. They are dark reddish-brown in colour with pale patterns on the abdomen. They build tangled webs between large but very close smooth-bark gum tree trunks. There is always the curled leaf or pieces of debris as retreat at the middle of the tangle web. Please also check this page.
Red Back Spider
wpe1B.jpg (28524 bytes)  wpe1D.jpg (43521 bytes)
Latrodectus hasselti, body length female 7mm
Body and legs are shiny black, with a distinct red stripe on the back and the red time-bottle mark (small photo) on the bottom of their abdomen. Red Back spiders build a tangled web on the wall, rubbish and old furniture in the garden. They like afternoon sunshine so they are found mostly on the western side of the garden. They have a very bad name in Australia because their bite is known to be fatal. Since the invention of the anti-venom twenty years ago, no one has been killed. However, they bring a lot of business to the pest control company. Most of my friends will call pest control company immediately once they find the Red Back in their garden. To read more information on Red Back Spiders, the symptoms of Red Back Spider bite and how to control Red Back Spiders, please click on here.
Green-yellow Comb-footed Spider
PWC_6579.jpg (145862 bytes) PWC_6580.jpg (198245 bytes) PWC_6580m.jpg (142867 bytes)
Theridion sp., leg to leg 20mm
We saw this Green-yellow Comb-footed Spider once in Daisy Hills Sep 2008. We found two spiders together in a tangled web on a small plant. The two spiders had the same patterns on their abdomen, the large one is green and the smaller one is yellow in colours. As a general rule, we thought the smaller on was the male visiting a female in her web. Check this page for more information. 
Neon Spider
wpe1.jpg (24244 bytes)  wpe19.jpg (28027 bytes)
Thwaitesia nigronodosa. leg to leg 30mm
This spider build tangled web on wattle leaf. The spider has large silver abdomen with brown-red patterns. On the top there are four black dots, mimic the head of larger spider species. More pictures and information can be found in this page.
Dewdrop spider
DSC_2484.jpg (108406 bytes)  DSC_2484L.jpg (99553 bytes) 
Argyrodes antipodianus, body length female 3mm, male 2mm
This is a small size spider. They do not build their own web. They live on the edges of large orb web built by other large spiders, such as the Golden Orb Web Spider. The small spider camouflages as a dewdrop. The abdomen is silver in colour. When resting on the silks of large spider's web, they look like a large dewdrop reflecting sun light. More information can be found in this page.
Rainbow's Comb-Footed Spider
DSC_2638.jpg (111282 bytes)  DSC_2637.jpg (102465 bytes)
Argyrodes rainbowi, body length 5mm
Found this spiders once in Karawatha Forest near the Lagoon. Please also check this page.  
Pyramid Comb-Footed Spider
DSC_6526.jpg (43116 bytes)  DSC_6528.jpg (43573 bytes)
Argyrodes fissifrons ?, body length 5mm
This spider has the elongated body, triangular shape in profile. When rest, the spider point its three pair of legs towards the front. We have more information and pictures about this spider in this page.
Tent-tenant Spider
DSC_1942.jpg (152074 bytes) DSC_1944.jpg (161737 bytes) DSC_1953.jpg (132941 bytes)
Argyrodes sp., body length 10mm, male 
This male was found on the edge of a Russian Tent Spider's web. It was found on Nov 2009 in Boondall Wetlands. The spider is bright orange in colours with white patterns on abdomen. 
DSC_1940.jpg (210559 bytes) 
DSC_2067.jpg (116441 bytes) DSC_2071.jpg (154832 bytes) DSC_2075.jpg (182663 bytes)
Body length 15mm, female 
Found this spider on the edge of the Tent Spider's web. It was also found on Nov 2009 in Boondall Wetlands. From the reference this spider's egg-sac is also in brighr orange colour. 
Long Comb-Footed Spider
DSC_0741.jpg (115627 bytes)  DSC_0743.jpg (137500 bytes)
Argyrodes sp. ?, body length 10mm
This spider has the typical body shape of a comb-footed spider in genus Argyrodes but with the even longer abdomen. It body is reddish brown to dark brown in colour. As other comb-footed spiders, it builds tangled web. Check this page for more information. 
Whip Spider
  PWC_6809.jpg (77610 bytes)
Ariamnes colubrinus (Argyrodes colubrinus), body length 30mm
This spiders are common in garden and bushes but not easily seen. The body is thin and long. The spider has relatively short legs and elongated abdomen. At night it hangs on one or two dry silk between plants. It is believed that this spider trap the other species of male spiders for living. At day time it camouflages itself as small broken branch caught on spider silk. Please check this page for more information.
Tick Spider
DSC_2051.jpg (191233 bytes) DSC_2055.jpg (152772 bytes) DSC_2059.jpg (164602 bytes)
Euryopis superba, body length 8mm
The spider is dark grey to black in colour with short orange colour legs. It body shape maeks it looks like a tick.  
DSC_2049.jpg (213558 bytes) DSC_2061.jpg (232268 bytes)
This spider build messy web under loose gum tree bark. Its web was easy to be recognized for there are many prey body remains attached to the messy web. From those body remains the spider's main prey were black ants and gum tree bug nymphs. Under the back there were many different size egg-sacs. We found even a moult-skin of the spider. 
1. Australian Spiders in colour - Ramon Mascord, Reed Books Pty Ltd, 1970, p64.
2. Euryopis superba - The Find-a-spider Guide for the Spiders of Southern Queensland, Dr Ron Atkinson, 2009.

1. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson 1969, p62. 
2. Australian Spiders in colour - Ramon Mascord, Reed Books Pty Ltd, 1970, p62.
3. Theridiidae - The Find-a-spider Guide for the Spiders of Southern Queensland, Dr Ron Atkinson, 2009.
4. THERIDIIDAE Comb-footed Spiders - Robert Whyte, Save Our Waterways Now.

Back to top

Up ] Spider Scientific Facts ] How spider builds its web ? ] Nephilid Spiders ] Long-jawed Orb Weavers ] Lace Wed Spiders ] Daddy Long-leg Spiders ] [ Comb-Footed Spiders ] Net-casting Spiders ] Uloborid spiders ] Unknown Spiders ]


Download large pictures in our Wallpaper web page.  Give us comments in our Guest Book, or send email to us. A great way to support us is to buy a CD from us. 
Last updated: November 30, 2009.