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Socca pustulosa

Fact Box
Socca pustulosa (formerly Eriophora pustulosa
(see source of new name below)
Previous species name:
Araneus pustulosa
(formerly Argiopidae)
Body length:
female: 12 mm
male: 6.5 mm
The female occupies a typical orb web, mainly at night
Uncertain; the venom of this species may cause mild illness but this spider is not aggressive
Socca pustulosa
Click to enlarge
A male
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Face of male

Until November 2021 this spider and its close Australian relatives were listed as Eriophora species but most of them then became Hortophora species on the basis of the following paper: Framenau et al in Evolutionary Systematics, 5(2), pages 275-334. Eriophora pustulosa was the only one that did not become a Hortophora species but in 2022 its name was changed to Socca pustulosa as recorded in a second paper by this same research group: Framenau V.W., Castanheira P. de S., and Vink CJ. (2022) "Taxonomy and systematics of the new Australo-Pacific orb-weaving genus Socca (Araneae: Araneidae) New Zealand Journal of Zoology 49(4) 263-334.

The presence of a transverse row of three projections on the distal dorsal surfaces of the abdomen and two more just above the spinnerets is the characteristic of Socca pustulosa and is not present on any Hortophora species.

Known Range: Recorded as being in near-coastal parts of Southern Queensland, all of NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, and the south-west corner of WA but most common in the south-east parts of the country. It is also common in New Zealand.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Hortophora species, particularly Hortophora transmarina, Hortophora biapicata, and also Acroaspis tuberculifera.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 31 December 2022.