ARKYIDAE Ambush Hunters

Until recently part of Araneidae (Orb Weavers) this group has now become its own family. The most commonly seen and photographed of the Australian Arkyids is Arkys, a genus with many brightly coloured spiders somewhat crab-like in form, with strong spiny front legs. Arkyids are usually ambush hunters, without hunting webs. Thery are commonly found on foliage, often hiding un the undersides of leaves. Some appear to mimic other animals, including moths, others are cryptic (camouflaged). Brightly coloured Arkyids can disguise themselves amongs flowers.

Arky alatus

Arkys alatus Keyserling, 1890 Winged Arkys
A small ambush hunter on foliage, widespread in all types of coastal rainforest and other habitats with good rainfall from central Queensland to Victoria. It is a flattish spider with white, cream, dark-grey or brown overall colour and ornate patterns and knobs. The cephalothorax is just slightly... 

Arky simsoni

Arkys alticephala (Urquhart, 1891) High-headed Arkys
A medium-sized, heavily-camouflagued ambush hunter with a characteristically knobbly exterior found throughout Australia's east coast and hinterland... 

Arkys bulburiensis

Arkys bulburinensis Heimer, 1984
The holotype for this species was collected and photographed by Ray Mascord, seen in his 1980 field guide plate 29.2 on page 77.  

Arkys cornutus

Arkys cornutus L. Koch, 1872 Horned Triangular Spider
This is an ambush hunter, active on foliage at night, an orb weaver that has abandoned its web for wait-and-pounce style hunting. Females to 9mm in... 

Arkys curtulus

Arkys curtulus (Simon, 1903) Small Bird-dropping Spider
This medium-sized spider hunts by ambush during the day on the exposed surfaces of green leaves, with legs drawn up, waiting for prey. Resembling a bird dropping, it is extremely well camouflagued and therefore rarely noticed, but is not uncommon in eastern mainland states from Victoria's south... 

Arkys dilatatus

Arkys dilatatus (Balogh, 1978) Dilated Arkys
A small, rather nondescript ambush hunter in coastal rainforest from south eastern to northern Queensland. The rearmost of the central quadrangle of eyes are slightly larger and slightly wider apart. The carapace, or top of the cephalothorax, is flat and covered with pale, forward-pointing hairs. 

Arkys sp

Arkys dilatatus 2 (Balogh, 1978) Accidental Moth Mimic
This spiderin life has a structure and pattern resembling a small moth, though this mimicry would be extremely unlikely, as mimicking moths would... 

Arkys sp

Arkys furcatus (Balogh, 1978) Mascord's Pretty Archemorus
This spiderin life has a structure and pattern resembling a small moth, though this mimicry would be extremely unlikely, as mimicking moths would 

Arkys cornutus

Arkys lancearius Walckenaer, 1837 Common Triangular Spider
A beautiful ambush-hunting Araneid found on the leaves of green shrubs throughout Australia including Tasmania. Identifiable by the two large,... 

Arkys sp.

Arkys sp. Canberra Red Arkys
This rather spectacular species is seen around Canberra. It resembles Balogh's drawings of A. grandis from New Caledonia. Thanks to Katarina... 

Arkys sp.

Arkys sp. Candy-coloured Arkys
A small Arkys found in sub tropical and dry rainforest as well as lightly wooded eucalypt scrub. Its appearance suggests it is well camouflaged... 

Arkys sp. Mount Mee

Arkys sp. Mount Mee
A small rainforest species with bright yellow flanks of the abdomen. Rather scarce in suitable habitat in South East Queensland around the Mount Mee... 

Arkys sp

Arkys speechleyi (Mascord 1968) Speechley's Arkys
This species is well camouflaged for the rainforest, the greenish abdomen heavily sclerotised and with dimples reminiscent of Dolophones species. In 1968 Mascord established Neoarchemorus with N. speechleyi as the only species, based on the shape of the carapace and abdomen,... 

Arkys tuberculatus

Arkys tuberculatus (Balogh, 1978) Blobbly Arkys
This rather obscure Arkys from South East Queensland is not attractive in any conventional sense, but quite beautiful in its ornate arrangement of... 

Arkys clavatus

Arkys walckenaeri Walckenaer's Studded Arkys
A small to medium-sized ambush hunter on foliage, waiting with outstretched arms for insects and other arthropods to come wthin range. It has a... 


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