What is this spider?

Asked March 21, 2017, 9:56 PM EDT

I live in victoria, Australia and this was on my door step, I have never seen a spider like this and we have heaps of spiders

Outside United States

2 Responses

Thank you for your question. It was just assigned to me yesterday. I am working on obtaining an identification for you. I will be back in touch as soon as I have some information.

Thank you for your patience.

Jim

Hello again. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I am not an authority on Australian spiders, and I needed to contact experts in Australia to get their opinion. I sent your photo to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Their arachnologist, Graham Milledge, was kind enough to review your photo.

According to Mr. Milledge, your spider is a very fat, female white-tailed spider. There are two species of white-tailed spider in Australia - Lampona cylindrata and Lampona murina. Yours is most likely L. cylindrata. This species usually has two pairs of white dots on its abdomen, the portion of the body behind the cephalothorax where the legs attach to the body, and a white tip at the end of the abdomen. The dots are not visible on your photo, but you can make out the white tip at the end of the abdomen.

This spider feeds primarily on other spiders, and it is frequently found in homes, where it often finds a plentiful supply of house spiders. It can also be found outside where it lives under bark, rocks. leaf litter and other organic matter. It hunts primarily at night.

Bites from this spider are reported to cause burning pain followed by swelling and itching at the site of the bite. There have been some claims that bites from this spider can also result in ulcerative skin lesions, but scientific studies have not shown that to be the case.

For more information on this species, check out these links:

Australian Museum: https://australianmuseum.net.au/white-tailed-spider

Spiders of Australia: https://ednieuw.home.xs4all.nl/australian/Lamponidae/Lamponidae.html

The Australian Museum is an excellent resource for Australian spider information. You can submit questions regarding identification of specimens at this link: https://australianmuseum.net.au/connect-with-us

Hope this answers your question and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim