A collection of spiders from Capertee Valley, NSW.
Holconia insignis (Sparassidae family) – These whopping stripy spiders come inside my house in summer and hide behind pictures and calendars. For a size reference, this male was photographed with a ruler and would be 17 cm across.
male Holconia insignis, 17 cm across, emerging from behind a picture frame, 2 February 2019.
female Holconia insignis, note smaller palps and larger body compared to male, this one was about 12 cm across. 27 February 2019.
Web Dasher spiders:
Corasoides species, Desidae family – It has taken me 20 years to work out what animal makes these webs on the ground! The webs are noticeable only after a heavy dew and only at certain times of the year. I had even wondered if they were caterpillar nests, before eventually photographing a spider occupant. (Photos taken after rain, 27 August 2018).
Look closely to see a hole in the middle of each web, which leads to a tunnel in the ground where the spider lives. The following diagram from the Australian Museum shows the structure of these webs. When a small insect lands on the web platform, the spider dashes out to grab it.
Female Corasoides species near the entrance to her burrow, 30 August 2018. Body length 5 mm.
The Australian Arachnid group on Facebook could not identify this species nor genus. So it is Lycosidae family, unknown species, a wolf spider of the type that makes a lid for its burrow, (not all wolf spiders have lidded burrows). Wolf spiders have 360 degree sight due to having 4 eyes encircling the head, with another 4 eyes at the front. They are not poisonous. The burrow was 1 cm diameter. I photographed this female at her burrow entrance, 1 September 2018.
Arbantis species, Idiopidae family – I’ve seen these holes in the ground for many years and always wondered what lived within. Eventually I saw a scary-looking dark brown spider tidying up the webby entrance to her burrow. Despite the name, not all trapdoor species have a door on their burrow, and mine does not. This species can inflict a painful bite but are not poisonous. Some trapdoor species can live for over 40 years. I photographed this female 21 October 2018. The burrow entrance was 2 cm in diameter.
Jumping and Peacock Spiders
Maratus plumosus Plumed Peacock Spider, Salticidae family (Jumping Spiders) – The tiny Maratus spiders have been in the news a bit lately, with claims that even arachnaphobes will love them. The prettily patterned males do a display dance to attract females, who may either then eat them, or mate with them. Body length is about 5 mm, way too small to ever bite a human. I was delighted to find some Maratus on my dry woodland property. This one is a male, photographed in October 2016.
Hypoblemum villosum (Shaggy or Red-headed House Hopper), Salticidae family of Jumping Spiders – This female I found hopping around on river stones along Coco Creek. She had lots of friends, including a more strongly coloured red-headed male. The pattern on the female made me think of Fair Isle jumpers. Tiny size, maybe 5 mm. October 2016.
Argiope keyserlingi, St Andrew’s Cross Spider, family Araneinae. I photographed this beautifully-coloured, 7-legged specimen near Coco Creek, 27 January 2008. There are many variations of this type of spider.
Backobourkia heroine or brounii – Another orb-weaver, and what a wonderful name! This fearsome-looking spider built a messy web and had even messier living quarters. Photographed 25 October 2015, this large female was eating a native bee.
Ariamnes colubrinus, Whip Spider, Theridiidae family
We found this peculiar-looking spider along Coco Creek on a Nature Conservation Trust walk, November 2012. Tiff had thought it was a long-jawed spider, but it turned out to be a Whip Spider.