Micropholcomma - Micropholcomma Sp.

Micropholcomma

Micropholcomma Sp.

Other Names: Micro Gondwanan Spiders
Family: Anapidae (Tiny Orb-weavers). Subfamily Micropholcommatinae (Micro Gondwanan Spiders). These spiders used to be in the family Micropholcommatidae, which was absorbed into the Anapidae family in 2016.
Size: Male body 1.5 mm, Female body 0. 8mm
Distribution: A CSIRO map shows the Eastern half of Australia, plus some have been found in WA so they probably live over much of Australia.
Habitat:
References: Framenau, Baehr & Zborowski.

This is the smallest spider I can remember seeing. The picture may not look that impressive, however the spider was about the size of a small grain of dirt. It was barely even recognisable as a spider to the unassisted eye, it looked more like a dot than a spider.

As of 2016, there are 8 species in the genus Micropholcomma. The genus was first described in 1927 by Crosby & Bishop. They are very small spiders (hence their name contains "micro"). There isn't much information about them compared to the larger more familiar spiders. The Australian lungless spider (Micropholcomma longissimum). There is still debate about how these tiny spiders should be classified.

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.

Micropholcomma - Micropholcomma Sp.
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney.

Recommended Reading

A Guide to the Spiders of Australia, by Volker W. Framenau, Barbara C. Baehr, and Paul ZborowskiA 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)

See Also

Return to Australian Spiders
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Micropholcomma - Micropholcomma Sp.

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