The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Maratus vespertilio

Fact Box
Maratus vespertilio
(Note: This identification is based on similarities with photos displayed by Heiko Metzner and a published photo that shows the male and female mating)
Body length:
female: approx 6 mm
male: 4 mm
This species is most often found on leaf litter, the male being noticed more often than the female (see notes below)
Not considered harmful to humans
Maratus vespertilio
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Another view
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The female
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Another view
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Front view

The distinctive feature of the male of this species that probably makes it relatively easy to identify is the presence of five thin longitudinal black lines in the head region between the lateral eyes. The thin black line and pale end of the female's abdomen is also distinctive.

Unlike many of the Australian Maratus species the male of this species almost completely lacks the bright colour schemes found on most Maratus males. In the above photos its abdomen has an almost square appearance because it was not displaying its courtship response when photographed. Like most other Maratus males this spider has cuticular flaps attached to the upper sides of the abdomen, these spreading sideways like a fan when the male is courting the female. This fan display is thought to be induced hydraulically and the spider also tends to extend each Leg III upwards and to the rear as part of its courtship behaviour.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some other Australian Maratus species.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 4 December 2017.