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Opisthoncus polyphemus?

Fact Box
Opisthoncus polyphemus? (QM)
(identification also derived from drawings on the salticid website of Jerzy Proszynski)
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?
Click to enlarge
Side view
Click to enlarge
Underneath spider

This is one of the many salticid species that can be found anywhere on trees or in green vegetation because of their great mobility. Opisthoncus species are generally quite easy to recognize to genus because of a small 'lump' between the last pair of eyes. However, there are many known Australian Opisthoncus species and for most of them one of the two sexes has not been adequately (it at all) described but is likely to have a very different appearance when compared with the other sex. In addition, several of the more common species are sufficiently similar in appearance and surface markings that they can only be distinguished from each other by a careful examination of their genitalia. 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 match the spider shown above for it to be identified with reasonable confidence as a probable O. polyphemus specimen, although almost certainly an immature one.

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

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 21 December 2016.