Family Lamponidae

White-tailed spider, Australian ground spider

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White-tailed spiders belong to the Australian family Lamponidae, a family containing 23 genera with around 190 species (2005) divided among three subfamilies: Lamponinae, Centrothelinae and Pseudolamponinae.
The Lamponidae have long been considered a subfamily of the Gnaphosidae. The size of the spider belonging to this family varies from 13 - 18 mm.

Genus Lampona

Lampona murina The bite of a white-tailed spider can cause an initial burning pain. Many bitings occur while sleeping (30%) or during dressing (40%).

In a study of Isbister and Gray 130 positive identified Lampona bites were studied. None of the patients developed necrotic ulcers. The bite was always painful and in 27% there was a severe pain. In 44 % of the cases a persistent red mark, with associated itchiness and pain or lump remained for 5 to 12 days.

Other information sources state that the bite is not remarkable for its pain.

Lampona murina

Lampona murina
Lampona murina

Habitat
The spider is nocturnal and a vagrant hunter in and around houses under bark and logs.
They build a sac-like web to hide in. They feed primarily on other spiders.
Lampona murina

Two of the white-tailed spiders have attracted significant attention, Lampona cylindrata and Lampona murina. These spiders have a dark reddish to grey, cigar-shaped body and dark orange-brown banded legs. Their size varies between 12 and 18 mm.
The four white spots fade away when the spider becomes adult.


The spider is nocturnal and a vagrant hunter in and around houses under bark and logs.
They build a sac-like web to hide in. They feed primarily on other spiders.
Two of the white-tailed spiders have attracted significant attention, Lampona cylindrata and Lampona murina. These spiders have a dark reddish to grey, cigar-shaped body and dark orange-brown banded legs. Their size varies between 12 and 18 mm.
Lampona ZZ528
  Lampona ZZ528 (Picture Robert Whyte)
Lampona cylindrata
Lampona cylindrata
on Eric Versteegen


Distribution

White-tailed spiders are common in Australia and New-Zealand. Outside this region they have been described in New Caledonia and New Guinea
Lampona cylindrata lives across southern Australia (south east Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia) and New Zealand.
Lampona murina is present in eastern Australia from north-east Queensland to
Victoria (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria) and New Zealand.


Habits
The Lampona cylindrata female constructs a circular egg-sac with a diameter of around 1 cm.
In the egg-sac she lays 50 -110 eeg with a diameter of 1.0 - 1.2 mm.
After 60 days the young emerges. The youngsters spin a horizontal web under which they stay for about a week. After this week they leave.

Lampona cylindrata on egg-sac by Colin Halliday Lampona cylindrata by Eric Versteegen

More info on Australian museum
White-tail spider bite: a prospective study of 130 definite bites by Lampona species

Ed Nieuwenhuys, 12 april 2011
3 december 2006