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Opisthoncus polyphemus

Fact Box
Opisthoncus polyphemus (QM)
(Identification also derived from drawings on the Peckham/Proszynski salticid website)
Body length:
female: 6 mm
male: about 7 mm
This spider is most often shaken from the green leaves of shrubs and low trees but may also be found in a leaf rolled into a tube for use as a retreat and as a place for depositing an egg sac
This spider's venom may cause local pain and inflammation
Opisthoncus polyphemus
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Side view
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Underneath spider
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The male
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Another male

The distinguishing characters of the female spider shown on this page are the black 'eye' patches on an otherwise white head region and the abdomen, which has no black markings but a pattern of white lines. Note that the male of this species looks so different it is hard to believe they are the same species.

The most recent and comprehensive review of the Australian Opisthoncus species can be found in the following paper: Gardzinska J and Zabka M (2013) "Redescription of the genus Opisthoncus L. Koch, 1880 (Araneae: Salticidae)" Zootaxa 3717, 401-447. This paper contains many images of Opisthoncus species but unfortunately these are all of preserved specimens which therefore have changed colour patterns. However, the description and images provided by Gardzinska and Zabka for O. polyphemus and the many internet and other photos labelled with that name match the spiders shown above so they can be confidently accepted as O. polyphemus specimens.

Known range: Recorded in Cairns but mostly in coastal localities from Gladstone to Melbourne plus Adelaide, Launceston and the South-west corner of WA.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Several other Opisthoncus species.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 2 February 2022.