The Find-a-Spider Guide

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More Information

Like more information about spiders?
If you are seeking facts about spiders that are not provided in this website you could try to obtain a copy of a recently published book on spiders. Unfortunately, there are presently very few reference books available that offer more than a basic overview of Australian arachnids and some of the better ones that were published before 1980 are now out of print, difficult to find in public libraries, and seriously incorrect in regard to the scientific names of individual spider species. Those listed below are useful sources of general information about Australian spiders but all contain taxonomic errors because of recent revisions in the classification of the spiders of Australia. It is not recommended that you purchase books presenting the spiders of other continents because most Australian species are unique to this country. On the other hand, such books may be useful if you want information about the life of spiders or the functions of a typical spider's body. In addition, they may contain images of overseas species that are similar to Australian ones for which no published photo can be found.

Whyte, R. and Anderson, G. (2017) "A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia" CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South, Victoria (ISBN 9780643107076)

Framenau, V.W., Baehr, B.C. and Zborowski, P. (2014) "A Guide to the Spiders of Australia" Reed New Holland, Sydney (ISBN 978 92151 724 2)

Raven, R.J. and Seeman, O. (2007) "Arachnids" in Wildlife of Greater Brisbane, 2nd Edition, pages 30-67, Queensland Museum Publication (ISBN 9780977594313)

Shield, J.M. (2001) "Spiders of Bendigo" Bendigo Field Naturalists' Club Inc, Bendigo (ISBN 0 9589259 6 8)


Brunet, B. (1997) "Spiderwatch: a guide to Australian spiders" Reed New Holland, Sydney (ISBN 1 87633 404 5)

Davies, V.T. (1986) "Australian Spiders: Collection Preservation and Identification" Queensland Museum booklet No. 14 (ISBN 0 7242 1721 5)

Hawkeswood, T.J. (2003) "Spiders of Australia: An introduction to their classification biology and distribution" Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow (ISBN 954 642 192 8)

Mascord, R. (1970) "Australian Spiders in colour" AH and AW Reed, Sydney (SBN 589 07065 7)

Mascord, R. (1980) "Spiders of Australia: a field guide" AH and AW Reed, Sydney. (ISBN 0 589 50264 6)

Other spider web sites
The dramatic spread of the internet has caused many spider enthusiasts to change from publishing spider books to establishing websites about spiders. The website you are now visiting is of course an example of this. The main advantage of a website over a book is that the information on the former is much easier to update than on the latter. Many other Australian spider web sites have been established in recent years but some of these include only a limited range of individual spider genera and species and/or are technically inaccurate. Among the better spider websites that deal with Australian spiders are:

Robert Whyte's Arachne website
This website is very comprehensive and the family, genus and species names presented are more accurate than on most other Australian spider websites. This makes this website particularly useful for people who have good qualification in the field of biology but who have not specialized in spider taxonomy.

The Queensland Museum
For many years the arachnologists at the Queensland Museum have undertaken the major task of correcting the many errors made by European taxonomists who over the period 1830 - 1920 first collected and named most of the more common spider species that are present in Australia. They are also playing a major role in expanding the list of described species this country contains and in revising their taxonomic identities.

The Australian Museum
Staff in the arachnid section of the Australian Museum in Sydney have also played a major role in the revision of the arachnids of Australia and have collaborated in a number of research projects involving the toxicity of Australian spider venoms. Their recently developed Bugwise website (at http://www.bugwise.net.au/) is also worth visiting.

The Australian Arachnological Society
This website contains some useful spider photos as well as lots of information about spiders and the people who are presently studying them. In addition, its contents relate not only to true spiders but also to other arachnids, including the ticks, mites, and scorpions.

The World Spider Catalog.
This catalogue, created by Norman Platnick but now managed by other expert arachnologists, is a listing of the current status of all named spiders of the world. Its use requires some scientific knowledge but it may be of some help to those who suspect the taxonomic name of a particular spider species may have been changed comparatively recently. Searches for individual species names can be made and the site also shows name changes and alternative names that taxonomists have used in the past for the same spider.

The Atlas of Living Australia
This website allows the user to search for useful information about Australian spiders, with emphasis on their taxonomy and the places where each species has been found.

Life Unseen
This wonderful collection of spiders and other arachnids by Nick Monaghan is well worth visiting.

Ed Nieuwenhuys' Australian Spiders
This site has some good sets of images of Australian spiders.

Brisbane Insects and Spiders
This is the website of Peter Chew and family and also contains many images of both insects and spiders found around Brisbane.

Tasmanian Spiders
This is a compilation by John Douglas of spider species that can be found in Tasmania.

Victorian Spiders
This site has been generated by the Museum of Victoria and has images of the more common spiders found in that state.

The Morwell National Park Online
The spider images shown on this website are those of species found in Victoria in or near the Morwell National Park.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that you can look for photos and/or other information about individual spider species by opening a search engine such as Google and typing in the spider's scientific or common name plus 'photos' to it. This should bring up galleries of images, at least the earliest ones of which should be relevant to your search, from such websites as Flickr and Flickriver.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 13 September 2017.