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Hoggicosa alfi

Fact Box
Species:
Hoggicosa alfi
(The ID of this spider was derived from a 2010 paper by Langlands and Framenau)
Family:
Lycosidae
Body length:
female: about 17 mm
male: about 17 mm
Habitat:
This species lives in a burrow in the ground and is mainly found in semi-arid Central Australia
Toxicity:
Bites may cause mild illness but no testing of the venom of this species has been done
Hoggicosa alfi
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Another specimen
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Rear view
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Another specimen
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Front view

The sex of Hoggicosa alfi affects the overall colour of the spider to some extent, the female tending to have a more strongly orange hue than the male. This sexual dimorphism phenomenon seems to be a characteristic of Hoggicosa species, the most dramatic example of which is the better known Hoggicosa bicolor. The two specimens shown in the above photos are most probably nearly mature females.

Distinguishing characteristics of this species are a faint 'Union Jack' pattern of black lines on the carapace and some faint and pale chevron markings on the dorsal abdomen.

Hoggicosa species seem to prefer to build their burrows in drier inland regions of Australia and some of them conserve moisture by fitting a door to their burrow. In the case of H. alfa a burrow is constructed in sandy soil but no door is placed at its entrance. According to Langlands and Framenau this species is most common in inland parts of Western Australia, South Australia, NSW and Queenland. The first three photos on this page are of a specimen found in central NSW and the last two photos are of a spider found from Bundaberg. It is therefore assumed that the eastern border of this species' range is further east than was originally thought.

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


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 22 June 2017.