Archaeids have extremely elongated necks and long scything jaws with which they spear and catch prey, usually other spiders, in a way remininscent of pelicans catching fish. They are limited to moist environments along Australia's coast, found mostly in rainforests in New South Wales and Queensland, with a major pocket in Western Australia's south west corner. There are scattered records from other parts of the southern coast. They are usually found where there is moss and suspended leaf litter. In Western Australia they are usually found in dense undergrowth in heathland. They are small (but not tiny) spiders with eight eyes, and long legs with a particularly long patella on leg I. They are usually brown or red-brown in colour. Both males and females usually have prominent knobs on the abdomen. At night they hang upside-down on a single line of silk, waiting for wandering spiders which they impale with their spear-like jaws and grip with rows of peg-like teeth.
Austrarchaea raveni Rix and Harvey, 2011 D'Aguilar Range Assassin Spider
Austrarchaea raveni is known only from rainforest habitats at Mount Glorious, Mount Nebo and Mount Mee, on the D'Aguilar Range north-west of Brisbane, south-eastern Queensland. ♀ 3.5mm ♂ 3mm.
- Phylogeny and historical biogeography of ancient assassin spiders - Phylogeny and historical biogeography of ancient assassin spiders (Araneae: Archaeidae) in the Australian mesic zone: Evidence for Miocene speciation within Tertiary refugia Michael G. Rix, Mark S. Harvey Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62 (2012) 375-396
- The first pararchaeid spider (Araneae: Pararchaeidae) from New Caledonia - The first pararchaeid spider (Araneae: Pararchaeidae) from New Caledonia, with a discussion on spinneret spigots and egg sac morphology in Ozarchaea MICHAEL G. RIX & MARK S. HARVEY Zootaxa 2414: 27-40 (2010)
- Tasmanian species of pararchaeidae and holarchaeidae - A review of the Tasmanian species of Pararchaeidae and Holarchaeidae (Arachnida, Araneae) M.G. Rix 2005. The Journal of Arachnology 33:135-152
- Archaeidae - Australian Assassins, Part I: A review of the Assassin Spiders (Araneae,Archaeidae) of mid-eastern Australia Michael G. Rix, Mark S. Harvey.