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Whip Spider
whip spider mimicking a tendrilArgyrodes flagellum



This strange spider looks like a bit of tendril. It has a long thin abdomen. At rest, it lines up its tiny thin legs to form a straight line.

Only when it moves does it become obvious that it's a spider! These small, superbly camouflaged spiders are understandably rather hard to spot. But when you manage to spot one, it is fascinating to watch.
Mangrove and wetland wildlife at
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
Main features: Long (24-27mm) greenish.

Status in Singapore: Common in low vegetation in mangrove swamps.
whip spider revealing its legs
Possibly with eggsac?
World distribution: Pakistan, Myanmar, Southeast Asia.

Classification: Family Theridiidae (Comb-footed spiders).
Whip Spiders are more common in vegetation with tendrilly bits like ficus with aerial roots; or among thin grasses.

The Whip Spider does not build a web and instead hangs on a simple Y-shaped silken trap. It may seem impossible for an insect to get snagged onto a single line of silk. One suggestion is that spiders that build such single-line webs lure insects by secreting pheromones. Or by appearing to be an extension of a tendril, the spider may appear to be a safe perch for a small unsuspecting flying insect.

REFERENCES
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  • Joseph K H Koh, "A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders", BP Guides, Science Centre, 1989 (p. 51 on the Red Tent Spider; p. 49: on Beccari's Tent Spider: habits, habitat, distribution, photos or spider and web).
 
By Ria Tan, 2001