The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Jumping spider

Fact Box
Species:
Opisthoncus sexmaculatus
(ID based on Flickr photos by Iain Macaulay )
Family:
Salticidae
Body length:
female: 7 mm
male: 6 mm
Habitat:
Usually found on the leaves and bark of trees but sometimes found on walls and other structures
Toxicity:
Unknown; may bite if handled, this leading to local inflammation and pain
Opisthoncus ssexmaculatus
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Another view
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Underneath female
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Opisthoncus mark

Opisthoncus species are generally quite easy to recognize to genus because of a small 'lump' between the last pair of eyes. However, there are many known Australian Opisthoncus species and for most of them one of the two sexes has not been adequately (it at all) described but is likely to have a very different appearance when compared with the other sex. In addition, several of the more common species are sufficiently similar in appearance and surface markings that they can only be distinguished from each other by a careful examination of their genitalia. The most recent and comprehensive review of the Australian Opisthoncus species can be found in the following paper: Gardzinska J and Zabka M (2013) "Redescription of the genus Opisthoncus L. Koch, 1880 (Araneae: Salticidae)" Zootaxa 3717, 401-447. This paper contains many images of Opisthoncus species but unfortunately these are all of preserved specimens which therefore have changed colour patterns. The female specimen shown above seems to be Opisthoncus sexmaculatus but in the available photos labelled with this name there are sometimes four or even five pairs of black spots on the dorsal abdomen instead of the three pairs implied by the sexmaculatus name. These additional spots are faintly present on the spider in the above photos.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Several other salticid species, and especially Opisthoncus species, with a similar body shape.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 21 December 2016.