The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Unknown oxyopid

Fact Box
Species:
Unknown oxyopid
(For comments on this identification see notes below)
Family:
Oxyopidae
Body length:
female: 3 mm
male: about 3 mm
Habitat:
Unlike most oxyopid species which are usually found in green garden shrubs this spider seems to prefer to sit on dead sticks that match it in colour, and it also is said to build fine webs that can only be seen on dewy mornings
Toxicity:
Unknown; may be too small to cause significant harm to a human
Unknown oxyopid
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Another view
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A female
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Side view
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With its egg sac

Oxyopids share with salticids the ability to move about by jumping from surface to surface. Members of most other spider families are unable to jump although they may fall from a height and be carried in the breeze if small. A few species may spring forward in a horizontal fashion (even funnel-web males do this) but usually only a short distance and and not with the extent of upwards movement that oxyopids and many salticids can manage because of their small body size and subsequent light weight.

Like all oxyopids this species has relatively long, spiny legs which are partly folded back over the body for much of the time. The spines are comparatively unusual in that they project out at right angles to the legs. Another distinctive characteristic of oxyopids is that on their head region there is a hexagonal ring of six moderately large eyes and a pair of smaller eyes in front of this ring.

An unusual feature of the species presented on this page is the highly arched head region on which the eyes are located, most other oxyopids having only a gentle backwards slope behind the eye patch. In some respects, including the pattern of scales on the front half of the spider, this species resembles the Australian members of the genus Hamatiliwa, the two species of which are H. cooki and H. monroei, these being found in North Queensland. However, the available photos of overseas Hamataliwa species all suggest that the head of a Hamataliwa specimen should be broader than is the case for the spider shown on this page. Unfortunately, this unknown species also seems to differ from known Australian Oxyopes species in having such an arched head region and an unusually strong tendency to wrap itself around twigs. It therefore must be considered to be an unidentified species until studied further by an expert arachnologist.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: None.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 6 January 2015.