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Thasyraea ornata

Fact Box
Thasyraea ornata (QM)
(but see also the comments at the foot of this page regarding the confusion between this spider and Tibellus tenellus)
formerly Zoridae
Body length:
female: 6-8 mm
male: uncertain
This spider may be found wandering over leaf litter or resting among green leaves
Unknown but probably harmless
Thasyraea ornata
Click to enlarge
Another specimen
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Immature male
Click to enlarge
Underneath male

Virtually all internet photos of Australian specimens of a spider labelled as Tibellus tenellus (Family Philodromidae) are now considered to be incorrectly named. The original source of this error appears to have been a photo included in Ramon Mascord's 1980 Spiders of Australia booklet, although at that time Mascord believed Tibellus tenellus belonged in the Family Thomisidae. Dr Robert Raven of the Queensland Museum has now advised that while Tibellus tenellus is listed in Platnick's World Spider Catalog as being present from China to Australia, almost all specimens thought to be this species and found in Queensland are actually likely to be the miturgid, formerly the zorid, Thasyraea ornata.

Thasyraea ornata and Tibellus tenellus both have a dark stripe running centrally along the entire top of the body but only on Thasyraea are there white edging lines included in this band. Perhaps the other more obvious difference between these two species is that Thasyraea ornata has a pointed tuft of white hairs projecting forward between the anterior eyes and over the fang region but Tibellus tenellus lacks this tuft. To further compound this confusion there is also a member of the Family Pisauridae, Perenethis venusta, which has a rather similar appearance to both Tibellus tenellus and Thasyraea ornata. However, on Perenethis the central dark band is broad in front and narrows progressively towards to rear of the spider.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Perenethis venusta.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 9 July 2014.