The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Maratus vespertilio

Fact Box
Species:
Maratus vespertilio
(Note: This identification is based on similarities with photos displayed by Heiko Metzner)
Family:
Salticidae
Body length:
female: approx 6 mm
male: 4 mm
Habitat:
This species is most often found on leaf litter, the male being found more often than the female (see notes below)
Toxicity:
Not considered harmful to humans
Maratus vespertilio
Click to enlarge
Another view

The distinctive feature of this species that probably makes it relatively easy to identify is the presence of five thin longitudinal black lines in the head region between the lateral eyes.

Like many of the Australian Maratus species the female of this species is a grey-brown colour but the male is unusual in almost completely lacking the bright colour schemes found on most Maratus males. In the above photos its abdomen has an almost square appearance because it was not displaying its courtship response when photographed. Like most other Maratus males this spider has cuticular flaps attached to the upper sides of the abdomen, these spreading sideways like a fan when the male is courting the female. This fan display is thought to be induced hydraulically and the spider also tends to extend each Leg III upwards and to the rear as part of its courtship behaviour.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some other Australian Maratus species.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 15 September 2016.