ARCHAEIDAE Assassin Spiders

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. 



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