Comb-footed spiders are so called because nearly all species have a comb of bristles on the tarsus (final segment) of leg IV. The tarsal comb is used for drawing out silk. They are sometimes also called tangle-web spiders or cobweb spiders because some species have messy space webs of sticky silk, but the family as a whole has many web architectures. Theridiids are generally small spiders, mostly with a large abdomen and a small cephalothorax and slender legs. The males are usually smaller than the females. In many species the abdomen is brightly coloured. The spiders generally hang upside down in the webs. When prey touches the web the strands break and pull the prey towards the centre of the web.

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