Black House Spider
Other Names: Common black spider, Window Spider. Note that "Window" has an "n" in it; these are not the same as the Black Widow Spider from America, which is closely related to the Redback Spider. The Grey House Spider (Badumna longinquus) is similar but less black / more grey and a bit smaller.
Family: Desidae (Intertidal spiders, originally named after marine species which live between high and low tide, but also now includes land dwelling spiders such as Badumna species).
Size: Female body up to 18 mm with a 30 mm legspan
Distribution: Widely distributed throughout Australia (especially Southern and Eastern Australia) and New Zealand. They are very common in the Blue Mountains of NSW, and many other places.
Habitat: They live in rough barked trees, and around many buildings (like houses) where they make webs around the edges of windows, and other places. Their webs sometimes have a funnel shape in them, but the funnels are smaller than funnel web spiders, and they don't have obvious "trip wires", and their webs are usually high up rather than low down near or on the ground like those of funnel web spiders.
About the Black House Spider
They are much more black than the picture I took at the Australian Museum. Most of the dead spiders have faded in colour, but this one especially so.
Note that dead spiders usually fade in colour, so nearly all the spiders will look blacker or darker in colour in real life than they do in the photos of dead spiders from the museum.
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney. High Resolution 3516 x 2476.
Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. High Resolution 1574 x 1002.
Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos. High Resolution 1600 x 1067.
Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos.
A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, by Robert Whyte and Greg Anderson.
This is my favourite field guide to Australian spiders. It has a proper index. It has amazing photographs. If I had to find a weak point of it, it would be that there are so many photos that there is less writing than there could have been. I like photos though so it's all good. 464 pages.
From the publisher, "A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia uses photographs of live animals to enable identification of commonly encountered spiders to the family level and, in some cases, to genus and species. Featuring over 1300 colour photographs, it is the most comprehensive account of Australian spiders ever published. With more than two-thirds of Australian spiders yet to be scientifically described, this book sets the scene for future explorations of our extraordinary Australian fauna."
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