The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Mouse spider

Fact Box
Species:
Missulena dipsaca
(Identification based on advice from the Queensland Museum and on the following paper: R.J. Faulder (1995) Records of the Western Australian Museum Suppl. No. 52, 73-78)
Family:
Actinopodidae
Body length:
female: unknown; about 9 mm?
male: 4 mm
Habitat:
In open bush settings in a burrow with its entrance closed by a well camouflaged door
Toxicity:
Unknown; the male is presumed to be more aggressive than the female and its venom may cause serious illness in humans
Missulena dipsaca
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Another specimen
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Another view
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Underside view

This species is found much less often than other mouse spider species but is presumed to have similar behavioural patterns. The female of this species is a glossy black colour with a shortened cephalothorax, very wide spread eyes, and large chelicerae and fangs. The male is more often noticed although it is entirely black and relatively small for a ground-dwelling mygalomorph spider. Mouse spiders dig deep burrows with a door and excellent camouflage that they are rarely discovered except when the males appear after rain in Autumn or a female is accidentally excavated.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Missulena occatoria and Missulena bradleyi.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 5 November 2019.