White-tailed spiders

White-tailed spider (Lampona murina, family Lamponidae)

Identification

Slender grey spider with small white spot at the end of the body; young spiders also have diagonal bars on side of body.

White-tailed spider, Lamponidae, Lampona cylindrata, female Lampona cylindrata.

Not able to climb glass.

Leg span up to 5 cm.

Bite

Harmless to humans. One of the weakest venoms known of Australian household spiders. Medical research has now removed the stigma of horror wounds from this spider.

Diversity & distribution

Many similar species throughout Australia; easily confused with Ground spiders (Gnaphosidae) and Ant-mimicking spiders (Corinnidae).

Lampona murina occurs only in Queensland and the colder loving sister species, Lampona cylindrata, is found in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.

In nature, found in leaf litter, under bark; the sister species, Lampona cylindrata, in cooler states is also found in houses.

Notes

Wrongly blamed for necrotic lesions now attributed to diverse causes but none of which are spider bites, see Isbister and Gray, 2003.

Main prey: White-tailed spiders have a strict diet of spider including Trapdoor spiders, Funnelwebs, black House spiders, and Netcasting spiders.

Free roaming.

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