Other Names: Sheet-web Spiders, Sheet weavers.
Family: Linyphiidae (Money Spiders). 34 species known in Australia, 200 species estimated. 4,400 species in the world. Many of the currently known Australian species were introduced by humans.
Size: Body 1-6 mm
Distribution: Occur over most or perhaps all of Australia. A few species only live in caves.
References: Whyte and Anderson. Framenau, Baehr & Zborowski. Wikipedia
Whyte and Anderson say that "This family is one of the great unexpolred frontiers in Australian arachnology". They have 8 eyes in two rows and long slender legs. They make small sheet-webs with a raised peak or dome in the middle. The spider rests upside-down inside the dome. These spiders are most often seen because of their webs, especially in the early morning when there is dew on themand there may be hundreds of the tiny webs in a meadow.
Spiders in this family are commonly known as money spiders in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and in Portugal, from the superstition that if such a spider is seen running on you, it has come to spin you new clothes, meaning financial good fortune.
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.
Spiders: A Wild Australia Guide, by Patrick Honan.
96 pages. This is a smaller spider guide showing the most well known spiders and then a few more.
From the publisher, "Australia is home to more than 2000 known species of spiders - and it is estimated that four times that number actually exist in this country waiting to be discovered! Within the ranks of Australian spiders we find some of the most uniquely interesting and skilled creatures of the animal world, along with a few potentially-deadly species and even more harmless individuals with fearsome reputations. Love them or loathe them, spiders are a part of everyday life, and this Steve Parish WILD AUSTRALIA GUIDE provides an insight into the lives of some of these often-reclusive visitors to our gardens, homes and wild places. From how to identify them and where they live, to their unique skills and behaviours, this guide lets you get up close to some of the most common Australian spiders. Who knows? You may even find some of these fascinating creatures living right under your nose."
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