Bizarre spiders

Whip spider (Ariamnes colubrinus, family Theridiidae)

Identification

Whip spider, Theridiidae, Ariamnes species

All brown. Long slender stick like body. Length: Up to 35mm.

Distribution

Bushland and suburbs of eastern Australia.

Web

Often found on single thread.

Bite

None recorded

Notes

Despite their fragile appearance, these spiders aggressively hunt much larger web building spiders like the Leaf-curling spider (Phonognatha graeffei) on their webs.

Scorpion Tailed spider (Arachnura higginsi, family Araneidae)

Identification

Scorpion-tailed spider, Araneidae, Arachnura higginsi, female

Spiders with small head and long body which is wide at front and narrows to small 4 pronged tail.

Highly variable colour, from dull brown to grey, through bright yellow, or with strong blue markings.

Length: Body length about 25mm.

Distribution

Eastern Australia in open forest, suburbs.

Web

Circular or orb web in which the spiders rests in the centre during the day.

Bite

None recorded

Notes

The tail is thought to be used as an attractant to insects but this has not been supported by study.

Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.