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Phonognatha pallida

Fact Box
Phonognatha pallida
(For ID see notes below)
(formerly Tetragnathidae)
Body length:
female: about 13 mm
male: about 8 mm
This spider's web isn't just a full circle. A curled dry leaf in which the spider hides with only its legs visible is suspended by supporting threads and a near-circular web hangs from its underside
Unknown; reclusive but otherwise potentially mildly hazardous to humans
Phonognatha pallida
Click to enlarge
In its web
Click to enlarge
The complete web

This species resembles Phonognatha graeffei, a leaf-curling spider that is common in Eastern Australia, but lacks the bright yellow and black pattern on the upper surface of the abdomen that P. graeffei has. It is believed to be present only in Western Australia, mostly in or near Perth, and was first described and named (as Singotypa pallida) by Dalmas in 1917 in Volume 86 (pages 431-436) of The Annales de la Societe Entomologique de France using specimens found in Perth. This species would normally not be included on this website, which is intended to display only Eastern Australian spiders, but is presented here because of its overall similarities with juvenile P. graeffei specimens and because there has been some confusion in books and on the internet between this spider and Phonognatha melania. However, Framenau et al in their 2014 book "A Guide to the Spiders of Australia" state that P. pallida is the only known Phonognatha species present in Western Australia and this is in agreement with the relevant entry on the World Spider Catalog.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Phonognatha graeffei.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 4 January 2018.