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Neosparassus salacius

Fact Box
Species:
Neosparassus salacius (RM)
(or a closely related species)
Family:
Sparassidae
formerly Heteropodidae
Body length:
female: 20 mm
male: 16 mm
Habitat:
This spider mostly rests on or under green leaves in eucalypt forests but is sometimes found with eggs or spiderlings in a retreat made from green leaves
Toxicity:
A bite by this species can cause strong local pain and inflammation and perhaps mild illness sensations
Neosparassus salacius
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Another view
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Female underside
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Female epigynum
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With its spiderlings
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Near-mature, under
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Half-grown, above
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Half-grown, under
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Very young

While the identification of the adult of this species is probably not too difficult because of the distinctive appearance of the 'shield' on the underside of its abdomen, immature specimens are quite likely to be misidentified. As shown by the set of images presented above, Neosparassus salacius commences life as green hatchlings and gradually loses most of its green colour, which presumably is caused by the presence of greenish haemocyanin and the absence of the brown skin pigmentation that the adults have. A somewhat similar situation probably applies for another huntsman spider, Typostola barbata, which is common along the east coast of Australia. However, T. barbata is sometimes referred to as the green huntsman spider because although the adults are usually a brown-grey colour they do retain more green colour than is the case for N. salacius, especially in their leg joints and abdominal hearts.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Neosparassus pictus and Neosparassus diana.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 25 May 2012.