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Carepalxis species

Fact Box
Species:
Carepalxis species
(Note: ID as shown in the paper published by B.Y. Main)
Family:
Araneidae
formerly Argiopidae
Body length:
female: about 8 mm
male: about 5 mm?
Habitat:
This spider builds a small orb web late in the evening then destroys it the next morning, resting quietly on a dry twig during the daylight hours
Toxicity:
Unknown, but a bite by this small spider is unlikely to cause serious illness
Carepalxis species
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Front view
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Side view
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Rear view

This spider's body shape, colour and resting posture are such that it closely resembles a gumnut and it is presumed to use these features as mimicry which in this case amounts to camouflage in plain sight. Barbara York Main described this phonomenon for a Western Australian Carepalxis species (for which she gave no species name) but the specimen photographed above was found in south-east Queensland and seems most likely to be Cyrtophora tuberculata. This presumably means that the gumnut mimicry phenomenon is a characteristic of more than just one Carepalxis species.

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


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 22 April 2017.