The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Habronestes helenae

Fact Box
Habronestes helenae
(or H. pictus: see notes below)
Body length:
female: 6.5 mm
male: 5.3 mm
Habronestes species are mainly found in semi-arid habitats and are ground-dwellers though they also are presumed to occupy small burrows in the ground
This small spider is probably harmless to humans
Habronestes helenae
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Another view
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The male
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Male palps
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Male underside

The identification of the spider shown on this page was based on the contents of the following paper: Baehr B. (2003) "Revision of the Australian spider genus Habronestes (Araneae: Zodariidae) Species of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory" Records of the Australian Museum 55: 343-376. The species H. helenae and H. pictus differ from all other Australian described Habronestes species in that the white markings on their dorsal abdomen are thin lines and small dots whereas other Habronestes species have relatively broad white abdominal patches. H. helenae and H. pictus are very similar in appearance and in known range within NSW but the photos shown above seem more likely to be H. helenae than H. pictus because the former has only two pairs of thin white lines and two pairs of white dots on its abdomen whereas H. pictus has three pairs of lines of white lines and two pairs of dots.

Habronestes species are ground-dwellers and are often seen associated with ants, which they tend to mimic (even to the extent of copying their pheromones) and prefer as food.

Known Range: Not very common anywhere but mostly found in NSW.

Spiders with a very similar appearance: Some other zodariids, especially Habronestes ppecies, although only H. helenae has abdominal markings similar to those on the spider shown on this page.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 18 January 2022.