The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Theridula gonygaster

Fact Box
Theridula gonygaster
(This identification is based on similarities with overseas specimens of this cosmopolitan species and a photo shown by Mascord in 1980)
Body length:
female: 1-2 mm
male: 1 mm
This is a species that is most common in lush forest environments where it lives in a small web under green leaves
This species is much too small to harm a human
Theridula gonygaster
Click to enlarge
Rear view

The identity of this tiny spider is perhaps uncertain in that the (World Spider Catalog) does not include any Australian Theridula species but lists Theridula gonygaster as a cosmopolitan species that is very common in Northern Hemisphere countries. A further complication is that the available labelled photos of Theridula gonygaster show a black spider with a reasonably similar pattern of yellow abdominal spots but some specimens have a sharp mid-abdominal projection from each side of the abdomen and others, like the one shown above, lack this feature. It is probably reasonable to suggest that this tiny species has travelled widely on the undersides of plant leaves and has gradually evolved the differences in appearance that are apparent in the available photos.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: None.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 19 July 2017.