The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Desis marina?

Fact Box
Desis marina? (RM)
Body length:
female: about 11 mm
male: about 9 mm
In a retreat built in crevices in coral reefs below the high water line. The spider seals the burrow entrance when the tide comes in and forages only when the water recedes
A bite may cause very mild illness but human bitings are rare
Desis species?
Click to enlarge
Burrow entrance

Note: The existence of Desis marina as an intertidal species along the North Queensland coastline is somewhat uncertain. The World Spider Catalog in April 2017 does not show it as being present there but the photos included on this page were taken at Airlie Beach on the mid-north coast of Queensland and Mascord also photographed on the coast near Cairns an intertidal spider he considered to be Desis marina and that was apparently identical to the one presented on this page. In addition, the spider collection of the Australian Museum in Sydney includes a specimen labelled as Desis marina and found in 1979 in the vicinity of Cairns. If both of these instances are misidentifications there does not seem to be any published statement as to the correct identity of the species formerly claimed to be Desis marina. On the other hand, Desis kenyonae is a species accepted by the World Spider Catalog and alleged to be present in littoral habitats in Victoria and Tasmania, and the available photos of this species look essentially the same as the spider shown on this page. It is said that the Australian Museum is presently attempting to clarify this confusion and the staff at that museum have indicated that intertidal Desis species are probably present in many parts of the Eastern Australian coastline.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: None, although species from several other spider families are superficially similar to this spider.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 27 April 2017.