The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Possible micropholcommatid species

Fact Box
Possible micropholcommatid species (QM)
(See notes below)
Body length:
female: up to 2 mm
male: up to 2 mm
In a tiny web in leaf litter or moss and sometimes in caves
This spider is much too small to harm a human
Micropholcommatid species
Click to enlarge
View from above

Note: The spider shown in the photos on this page had a body length of less than 2 mm. Since it appears to be in its web but resting on its egg sac it is likely to have been an adult female belonging to one of the micro-spider families, which include the Symphytognathidae, Pararchaeidae (now part of the Malkaridae), Anapidae (now including the Holarchaeidae), and Mysmenidae. Apart from their minute size, the members of these families are all unusual in having on each leg a terminal segment (the tarsus) that is longer than the next segment (the metatarsus).

Unfortunately, the very small size of the spider shown above and the fact that the legs cover the front part of the body means that it is impossible to state with certainty which of these micro-spider families the species shown here actually belongs to or even if it is a member of any of them. It COULD be a theridiid species or even an immature araneid although, as the photo shows, it was found in a crevice in the floor of a cave at Mole Creek in Tasmania and such a habitat is rarely occupied by members of the Families Theridiidae and Araneidae but is an acknowledged habitat for the Tasmanian micropholcommatid species, Olgania excavata.

The spider shown above seems quite likely to be a member of the Family Micropholcommatidae (now incorporated into the Family Anapidae) based on its overall shape and the presence of what look like scutes (scales) on its abdomen. It almost certainly is not a Queensland species and is included on this website simply to give the reader an idea of the typical size, shape and posture of micropholcommatid spiders, some of which are known to be present in parts of south-east Queensland.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Several other micro-spider species.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 2 July 2008.