The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Backobourkia brouni

Fact Box
Species:
Backobourkia brouni (VF)
(but see note below)
Previous species name:
Araneus heroine (RM)
then Eriophora heroine (JS)
Family:
Araneidae
formerly Argiopidae
Body length:
female: 15 mm
male: 7 mm
Habitat:
In a typical orb-shaped web between branches of shrubs; the female spider may be found in the web in the evening but hiding in a retreat near the top of the web during the daylight hours; the legs are normally extended at night since the spider is feeding but retracted against the body in the daytime in the fashion typical of Hortophora species
Toxicity:
May cause mild illness but this spider is not very aggressive
Backobourkia brouni
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A side view
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The same species?
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Rear view
Click to enlarge
The male

Note: The spider presented on this page is very similar in appearance to Backobourkia heroine, which has also been found in South-east Queensland, and may actually be that species since both B. heroine and B. brouni have been collected in South-east Queensland. However, the recent paper by Volker Framenau and others contains images and distribution maps that make it more likely to be B. brouni than B. heroine. It is also possible that at least one of the images included on this page are actually of B. collina, but that species is mainly found in the central and western parts of Australia.

The dorsal abdominal pattern and projections are characteristic of this species but the two other Backobourkia species have quite similar markings. Those on the closely related Eriophora pustulosa and some Hortophora species are similar enough to cause misidentifications unless the taxonomist is familiar with all genera within this group of orb weavers.

Known Range: Found in most of the southern half of Australia but also in South-east Queensland and Tasmania.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Eriophora pustulosa and Hortophora species such as Hortophora transmarina.



Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 2 January 2022.