A very similar sheet is spun by a species of Linyphia, one of the Argyopidae, but in this case there is no tube connected with the web and the spider hangs suspended beneath the horizontal netting.
Snares of another type consisting of a tangled mass of threads amongst which the spiders pick their way with ease, but which are impassable to insects, are spun by members of the Theridiidae and Pholcidae; but by common consent the so-called orbicular web, so characteristic of the Argyopidae but by no means confined to them, is regarded as manifesting the greatest perfection of instinct in snare-spinning.
Perfect orbicular webs are made by many genera of Argyopidae (Zilla, Meta, Gasteracantha), the best-known example being that of the common garden spider of England, Aranea or Epeira diademata; but these webs are not associated with any tubular retreat except such as are made under an adjoining leaf or in some nook hard by.
The Theridiidae eject on to the insect from their spinning mamillae drops of liquid adhesive silk; the Argyopidae, steadying it with the tips of their long front legs, sweep additional strands of silk over it with the legs of the hinder pair; the Agalenidae, attaching a long thread to a point hard by, run round and round the victim in circles, gradually winding it up beyond all hope of breaking loose.
Two genera of Argyopidae (Hyptiotes and Theridiosoma) construct spring-nets out of their incomplete webs of the orbicular type.
The females of some snare-spinning species, like the Pholcidae, carry it in their jaws; but in the case of the Argyopidae the females usually leave the cocoon to its fate as soon as it is constructed, sometimes rolling it in a leaf, sometimes attaching it by a stalk to a branch.
In northern and temperate latitudes where insects disappear in the winter, species of Argyopidae like Aranea diademata, live only for a single season.
Males of the Argyopidae hang on the outskirt s of the webs of the females and signal their presence to her by jerking the radial threads in a peculiar manner.
Lastly, the males of some species of spiders differ from the females in possessing stridulating organs consisting of horny ridges and spikes and lodged either between the mandible and palpus as in some species allied to Linyphia, one of the Argyopidae, or between the cephalo-thorax and abdomen as in Steatoda, one of the Theridiidae and Cambridgea, one of the Agalenidae.
Others again, like Gasteracantha and Acrosoma, belonging to the Argyopidae, are armed with sharp and strong abdominal spines, and these spiders are hard-shelled like beetles and are spotted with black on a reddish or yellow ground, their spines shining with steel-blue lustre.
When concealment is no longer possible terrestrial species, like the Lycosidae, dart swiftly to the nearest shelter afforded by crevices in the soil, stones, fallen leaves or logs of wood, while those that live in bushes, like the Argyopidae, drop straight to the ground and lie hidden in the earth or in the fallen vegetation beneath.
Some members of the Argyopidae (Cyclosa) are exactly like small snails; others (Cyrtarachne) resemble Coccinellidae in shape and colour.
Amongst the orbweavers of the family Argyopidae there are species belonging to the genera Cyclosa and Cyrtophora which closely resemble small snail-like gastropods as they cling to the underside of leaves with their legs drawn up. Other members of the same family - like Araneus coccinella, and Paraplectana thorntoni- imitate beetles of the family Coccinellidae which are known to be distasteful; and certain genera of the family Salticidae (Homalattus and Rhanis) closely resemble small hard-shelled beetles.
Myrmicaeformis, two South American species of the family Argyopidae, in which the females are protected by strong spine-armature.