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female P. prominens from Okinawa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Uloboridae
Genus: Philoponella
Mello-Leitão, 1917

See text.

37 species

Philoponella is a genus of uloborid spiders. Like all Uloboridae, these species have no venom.


Some species (among them P. congregabilis and P. oweni) construct communal webs, but nevertheless do not capture prey cooperatively. However, a few species, such as P. raffrayi, are known to cooperate in prey capture. A colony of P. raffrayi is composed of individual orb-webs connected by non-adhesive silk. Its average body length is about 6 mm in females and 3 mm in males. Adult females are orange for at least a week after the final molt, and become black a few weeks later. In these colonies, Argyrodes and Portia species can also be found, acting as kleptoparasites and predators, respectively. When relatively large prey is trapped on the periphery of the colony, two females cooperate in about 10% of cases in wrapping it, which increases their chances of success about fourfold. However, only one female then feeds on this prey. Cooperative capture is similar in P. republicana, where more than two individuals may work together.[1]

Philoponella vicina uses its silk to compress and crush its prey.[2]


Philoponella species occur pantropical in the Americas, Africa, southeastern Asia and Australia, with almost half of them found from the southern United States to northern Argentina.


male P. prominens
P. prominens stabilimentum


  1. ^ Matsumoto 1998
  2. ^ Eberhard, William G.; Barrantes, Gilbert & Weng, Ju-Lin (2006). "Tie them up tight: wrapping by Philoponella vicina spiders breaks, compresses and sometimes kills their prey". Naturwissenschaften 95(5): 251-254. doi:10.1007/s00114-006-0094-1HTML abstract


  • Tamerlan Thorell (1895). Descriptive catalogue of the spiders of Burma
  • Opell, B.D. (1987). "The new species Philoponella herediae and its modified orb-web (Araneae, Uloboridae)". J. Arachnol. 15: 59-63. PDF
  • Matsumoto, Toshiya (1998). "Cooperative prey capture in the communal web spider, Philoponella raffray (Araneae, Uloboridae)". Journal of Arachnology 26: 392-396. PDF
  • Grismado, Christian J. (2004). "Two new species of the genus Philoponella from Brazil and Argentina (Araneae, Uloboridae)". Iheringia, Sér. Zool. 94(1): 105-109. PDF
  • Platnick, Norman I. (2008). The world spider catalog, version 8.5. American Museum of Natural History.