Australian spider identification location chart

With 41253 (30 April 2010) identified spiders and with probably more this amount of unidentified ones, it is difficult to identify a spider from a picture.

The genitals of the male and female spider are used for professional identification. When a species is officially recorded the male and female are intensively described and the genitals are drawn. Often the eye-setting is also key feature to identify a spider.
The last decade photography of the spider parts replaces drawings.
An advantage of drawing still is; it can emphasise details that are lost in photographs.
After identification the specimens are stored for further investigations when doubt arises about the name of the species.
Officially described species are recorded in a database known as "The World Spider Catalog" of Norman Platnick.
It was a hell of a task to reduce over 200 years of multiple naming of one species to a single unique name. In this database one can see how specie names are combined or moved to other genera. Name giving is volatile because identification is done by subjective features of the spider.
Assigning a spiders to a family and genus is often discussable. DNA-sequencing can show more precisely in which genus and family a species belongs but is also subject to error.

 

Drawings of male and female genitalia of an orb-weaving spider (Araneidae) by   N. Duperre (in Framenau et. al. 2010).

For amateurs it is not always essential to find the exact name a of spider.
Finding the family name of a spider is often more than enough.
The family name often describes the behaviour of a spider well enough.
For instance: Almost all wolf spider runs in packs before you feet away. That is why they were name wolf spider. It was long believed they hunted in packs like wolfs.
A jumping spider jumps and belongs to a very large family called "jumping spiders" with 5245 species world wide.

The two tables, the drawings of spiders and webs below will make it easier to identify a European spider.
Together with the thumbnail page you can find the family or your spider in an easy way.

Left pedipalp of Backobourkia heroine

Click around. Success. ß Back

Left expanded pedipalp of Backobourkia heroine by N. Scharff & J. Coddington (in Framenau et. al. 2010).

>> Thumbnail page with Australian spider photos to identify the spider from a picture.

Identification by scientific name

 

Inside and outside buildings

On or close to the ground

Under stones, logs, litter, et cetera

Low or medium foliage

Tall shrubs, in trees, under bark

Rock, walls, caves, banks

Close to water
or in water

No web,
no retreat,
sac like retreat

Hunters

Lamponidae Corinnidae

Clubionidae

 

Anyphaenidae

Dysderidae

Pisauridae

Salticidae

Gnaphosidae

Dysderidae

Clubionidae

Clubionidae

 

 

Sparassidae

Miturgidae

Gnaphosidae

 

Corinnidae

Salticidae

 
 

Pisauridae

Miturgidae Miturgidae Gnaphosidae    
Scytodidae Salticidae Lamponidae

Oxyopidae

Lamponidae

Segestriidae

 
 

Zoridae

Nicodamidae

Pisauridae

Liocranidae

Throchanteriidae  
    Throchanteriidae

Salticidae

Salticidae

   
    Zodariidae

Sparassidae

Sparassidae

   

No web, no retreat

Ambushers, fishers

      Deinopidae      
     

Philodromidae

Philodromidae

 

Pisauridae

     

Thomisidae

Thomisidae

   

Web

Orb

Uloboridae

 

Araneidae

Araneidae

 

Araneidae

Araneidae

    Uloboridae

Tetragnathidae

 

 

 

     

Uloboridae

 

Uloboridae

Tetragnathidae

Web

Tangle

Pholcidae

Theridiidae

Theridiidae

Linyphiidae

Linyphiidae

Pholcidae

 

Theridiidae

   

Theridiidae

Theridiidae

Theridiidae

 

Web

Sheet

 

Hahniidae

Linyphiidae

Linyphiidae

Nephila

 

 
Desidae   Desidae Desidae      

Linyphiidae

Linyphiidae

         

Burrow, mesh, tubular retreat

 

Agelenidae

Agelenidae

 

 

Amaurobiidae

Oecobiidae

Agelenidae

 

Lycosidae

 

Miturgidae

Dysderidae

Salticidae

 

  Mygalomorphae Gnaphosidae       Lycosidae

Oecobiidae

Stiphidiidae

Zodariidae

Oxyopidae

 

 

 

Identification by common name

 

Inside and outside buildings

On or close to the ground

Under stones, logs, litter, et cetera

Low or medium foliage

Tall shrubs, in trees, under bark

Rock,walls, caves,banks

Close to water
or in water

No web, no retreat

Hunters

White-tailed Ant-like sac

Sac

 

Tube

Long-fanged

Fishing / Nursery web

Jumping

Flat-bellied ground

Long-fanged

Sac

Sac

 

 

Huntsman

Prowling

Flat-bellied ground

 

Ant-like sac

Jumping

 
 

Fishing / Nursery web

Prowling Prowling Flat-bellied ground Flat rock  
Spitting Jumping White-tailed

Lynx

White-tailed    
 

Wandering

Red and black

Fishing / Nursery web

Spiny–legged sac

   
    Flat rock

Jumping

Jumping

   
    Ant-hunting Huntsman

Huntsman

   

No web, no retreat

Ambushers, fishers

      Net-casting      
     

Small huntsman

Small huntsman

 

Fishing / Nursery web

     

Crab

Crab

   

Web

Orb

Single-line web

 

Orb web

Orb web

Golden orb web

Orb web

Orb web

   

Single-line web

Stretch

 

Orb stretch

Orb stretch

     

Single-line web

 

Single-line web

Stretch

Web

Tangle

Daddy-long legs

Cob web

Cob web

Sheet web

Sheet web

Daddy-long legs

 

Cob web

   

Cob web

Cob web

Cob web

 

Web

Sheet

 

Dwarf sheet

Sheet web

Sheet web

 

 

 
House   Long-jawed intertidal Long-jawed intertidal      

Sheet web

Sheet web

         

Burrow, mesh, tubular retreat

 

Funnel weavers

Funnel weavers

 

 

 

Disc web  

Funnel weavers

 

Wolf

 

Prowling

Long-fanged

Jumping

 

  Primitive Flat-bellied ground       Wolf

Disc web

Cone web

Burrow-making

Lynx

 

   

 

 

 

 

>> Thumbnail page with Australian spider photos to identify the spider from a picture.

(1) With permission from: Framenau, V. W. , Dupérré, N., Blackledge, T.A. and Vink, C.J. 2010. Systematics of the new Australian orb-weaving spider genus Backobourkia (Araneae: Araneidae). Arthropod Systematics and Phylogeny 68 , 79-111 .  

Ed Nieuwenhuys, 5 May 2010
April 1999

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