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Desis marina

Fact Box
Species:
Desis marina (RM)
Family:
Desidae
Body length:
female: about 11 mm
male: about 9 mm
Habitat:
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
Toxicity:
A bite may cause very mild illness but human bitings are rare
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Click to enlarge
Burrow entrance

Note: The existence of Desis marina as an intertidal species along the North Queensland coastline is somewhat uncertain. Platnick's World Spider Catalog 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 this species formerly claimed to be Desis marina.

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 23 November 2012.