Find a spider by...
webs and egg sacs
Thasyraea species (QM)|
(but note the comments at the foot of this page)
female: 8 mm|
male: 7 mm
Wandering on green leaves or leaf litter
Unknown but probably harmless
Virtually all internet photos of Australian specimens of a spider labelled as Tibellus tenellus (Family Philodromidae) are now considered to be
incorrectly named. The original source of this error appears to have been a photo included in Ramon Mascord's 1980
Spiders of Australia booklet, although at that time Mascord believed Tibellus tenellus belonged in the Family Thomisidae.
Dr Robert Raven of the Queensland Museum has now advised that while Tibellus tenellus is listed in Platnick's
World Spider Catalog as being present from China to Australia, almost all specimens thought to be this species and found in
Australia are actually likely to be the miturgid, formerly the zorid, Thasyraea. It appears that Tibellus is common in Asia but rare in Australia.
Thasyraea and Tibellus tenellus both have a dark stripe running centrally along the entire top of the body but only on Thasyraea are there
white edging lines on this band and another dark band further out. Perhaps the other more obvious difference between these two species is that Thasyraea has a pointed
tuft of white hairs projecting forward between the anterior eyes and over the fang region but Tibellus tenellus lacks this tuft. To further compound this
confusion there is also a member of the Family Pisauridae, Perenethis venusta, which has a rather similar appearance to both
Tibellus tenellus and Thasyraea ornata. However, on Perenethis the central dark band is broad in front and narrows progressively towards to rear of the spider.
Note that according to the World Spider Catalog the only known Queensland Thasyraea species is T. ornata (and the fifth image on this page was found there) whereas
in NSW the known, but very similar, species is T. lepida.
Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Perenethis venusta.
Email Ron Atkinson for more information.
Last updated 12 November 2017.