The Find-a-Spider Guide

The Find-a-Spider Guide    The Find-a-Spider Guide    The Find-a-Spider Guide    The Find-a-Spider Guide
Find a spider by...     common name     location       species       family       webs and egg sacs     photos

Opopaea species

Fact Box
Opopaea species
(or a very similar genus; see notes below)
Body length:
female: about 3 mm
male: probably about 2 mm
Often found in leaf litter and under loose tree bark
Too small to be hazardous to humans
Opopaea species
Click to enlarge
Another view
Click to enlarge
Rear view

On the basis of its general appearance there is no other spider family this species could belong to but its correct genus and species names must remain uncertain at this time. Much work has been carried out by several arachnologists in regard to the number of Australian oonopid genera and species that are actually present in this country but more needs to be done because some of the information available in the internet and elsewhere seems to be contradictory. Of the genera known to be present in central NSW where this spider was found the most likely one seems to be Opopaea but there are at least one or two others that are also possible and similar in appearance. Many others are only known for Northern and Western Australia and can therefore be discounted for the above spider.

Among the important anatomical characteristics of this spider are the large scute (plate) covering the upper abdomen (there is also a ventral scute but this is much less obvious) and the reasonably uniform orange-brown colour.

This species is most likely to be found in leaf litter at ground level and is said to forage on Collembola (springtails), which can be present in very large numbers at ground level.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Several different oonopid genera and even a few very small members of several other spider families.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 31 August 2016.