The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Jumping spider

Fact Box
Opisthoncus mordax?
(The species name for this spider is uncertain, some other species looking much the same; see notes below)
Body length:
female: 10 mm
male: 9 mm
Usually found on the leaves and bark of trees but sometimes found on walls and other structures
Unknown; may bite if handled, this leading to local inflammation and pain
Opisthoncus mordax?
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Front view
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Underneath male
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Oblique view
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Another specimen

This is one of the many salticid species that can be found anywhere on trees or in green vegetation because of their great mobility. Opisthoncus species are generally quite easy to recognize to genus because of a small 'lump' between the last pair of eyes. However, there are many known Australian Opisthoncus species and for most of them one of the two sexes has not been adequately (if at all) described but is likely to have a very different appearance when compared with the other sex. In addition, several of the more common species are sufficiently similar in appearance and surface markings that they can only be distinguished from each other by a careful examination of their genitalia.

It is suggested on the Atlas of Living Australia website that the male specimen shown is Opisthoncus mordax but the image shown for Opisthoncus grassator and one or two related species looks essentially the same. It should also be noted that the female of the same species as the male shown on this page is very different in appearance, a common characteristic of Opisthoncus species.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Several other salticid species, and especially Opisthoncus species, with a similar body shape.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 29 June 2017.