The Singapore Fishing Spider (Thalassius albocinctus) belongs to the family Pisauridae. This family of spiders is also known as the nursery-web spiders. Females would carry their large egg sac in their chelicerae and could be seen wandering about on tip toes. Before hatching, they will place their egg sac in a silken tent and stay guard outside.
T. albocinctus inhabits near water in mangroves and forest streams where it could dive to catch small fishes before dragging its prey ashore. Till recently, T. albocinctus is known only from Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Sulawesi.
The species diversity of spiders is just mind-boggling. They have evolved to occupy all sorts of ecological niches and many of them have fascinating hunting techniques. I’ve always been captivated by spiders and the Spiderman comics. My recent spidering trips with Joseph Koh have given me new found respect for these little predators.
Pictures taken at: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, August 2006
Koh, K. H. J., 1989. A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders. Singapore Science Centre.
Murphy, F. & J. Murphy, 2000. An Introduction to the Spiders of South East Asia, Malaysian Nature Society. United Selangor Press Sdn. Bhd, Kuala Lumpur.