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.
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 Guide to the Spiders of Australia, by Volker W. Framenau, Barbara C. Baehr, and Paul Zborowski.
This is a great field guide to Australian spiders. It's a toss up between this one and Spiderwatch for my second favourite spider field guide. This one is a lot different to Spiderwatch. It's got more than twice the number of pages. It's got much better photos. It comes with a soft clear plastic cover protecting the usual soft cover. On the other side of the argument, it's got no index other than an index of family names (i.e. no index of actual spider names, not their common names and not their scientific names). Which makes it hard to find things in it, if you don't know what family they are in. Also it's based on families and not individual spider species. It's still a wonderful book though.
From the publisher, "This definitive guide to the subject, written by three experts in the field, offers a window into a fascinating world. Notorious species such as the Redback and the Sydney Funnel-web sit alongside less wellknown but equally intriguing spiders such as the ant-mimics and net-casting spiders. The introduction covers spider structure, evolution, reproduction, silk and venom, together with peculiarities of the family within an Australian context.
The two main sections of the book deal with Trapdoor Spiders and Modern Spiders, and within each section there is a chapter on each of the 80 or so spider families that occur in Australia. Each is illustrated with beautiful photographs of the subjects, with more than 30 images per family for some of the larger groups such as the jumping spiders, and many rare images never before published. "
Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)
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