The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Artoriopsis melissae

Fact Box
Species:
Artoriopsis melissae
(or a closely related species such as Artoriopsis expolita - see notes below for the sources from which this identification has been derived)
Previous species name:
Trochosa expolita expolita
Family:
Lycosidae
Body length:
female: 6-7 mm
male: 7 mm
Habitat:
This spider lives in a shallow open burrow but is often found wandering in lawns searching for prey
Toxicity:
May be too small to harm a human but handle with caution
Artoriopsis melissae
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Adult female
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Underneath male
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Underneath female
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Female epigynum
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Male palps
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Male carapace
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Male abdomen
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Another specimen?

This species has surface markings quite similar to those of other members of the same family, although it is smaller than most Lycosa species. It is very difficult to distinguish from other Arteriopsis species but in South Queensland the species most likely to be confused with it is probably Artoriopsis expolita.

Arteriopsis species are notable vagrants and can often be found outside the burrow foraging for insects. It is commonly found in lawns and the males often wander into houses in spring and summer.

Note: The Lycosidae of Australia are very difficult to identify without the aid of a stereo microscope and extensive taxonomic details. Surface markings can be quite variable for a given species, from specimen to specimen, from male to female, and from juvenile to adult. Over the last decade or so a major revision of the Australian wolf spider fauna has been undertaken by Dr. Volker Framenau and his colleagues. This revision is not yet complete so some of the lycosid identifications shown on this website are likely to be incorrect either now or in the near future. At the end of 2010 the most reliable sources of information/photos about the Australian lycosids can be found at the following two websites:

http://www.lycosidae.info/identification/australia/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/australianspiders/collections/72157622669463297/

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Many other Australian lycosids but especially Artoriopsis expolita.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 29 November 2012