The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Fact Box
Isopeda vasta
(The identity of this species was verified by David Hirst, SA Museum. There are several similar species - see notes below)
formerly Heteropodidae
Body length:
female: 40 mm
male: 32 mm
Normally under loose bark in eucalypt forests but may enter houses and is most active at night
Uncertain; may cause local inflammation or mild illness so handle with caution
Isopeda vasta
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Underside of spider
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Male palps
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Another species?

This is one of the more common huntsman species in South-east Queensland.

Identification of this species is not easy. Originally known as Isopoda vasta it is now known to have several very similar relatives. What appears to be the same species is shown on the Australian Museum website and in Trevor Hawkeswood's "Spiders of Australia" as Isopeda villosa, and this is an accepted NSW species name. Isopeda montana is another very similar spider that can be found in Victoria. In Bert Brunet's 1996 Spiderwatch book there is a photo bearing the title Holconia vasta and Ed Nieuwenhuys' spider website shows another similar spider with the name Heteropoda venatoria. In a comparatively recent review of the genus Isopeda David Hirst of the South Australian Museum described yet another species that resembles I. vasta and this is shown on this website as Isopeda queenslandensis.

Known range: Common around Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide but some instances may be misidentifications.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Other huntsman species but especially Isopeda queenslandensis.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 21 January 2022.