The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Opopaea species

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

On the basis of its general appearance there is no other spider family this species could belong to but its correct species name must remain uncertain at this time. The studies of Australian oonopid genera that have been published so far seem to indicate that the most common oonopid genus in this country is Opopaea, for which many different species have been descibed. These are all so similar in appearance that an individual specimen can be identified with confidence only with the aid of a good stereo microscope and a knowledge of the location in which the specimen was found. For these reasons no attempt has been made to determine the species name for the Opopaea specimens presented on this page.

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, but Opopaea species also sometimes hide under loose bark and similar above-ground places.

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 4 June 2017.