Alice Springs Fauna •

Alice Springs SpidersAustralian Golden Orb Weaver Beautiful Badge Huntsman (Neosparassus calligaster) Banded Garden Spider Desert Huntsman Spider Elegant Water Spider (Dolomedes facetus) Hackled Orb-weavers Long-jawed Orb Weavers Long-tailed St. Andrew’s Cross Spider Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) Miturgidae (Elassoctenus spp) Red-headed Mouse Spider Wall Spider (Oecobius sp)

Alice Springs and Central Australia is home to a number of genus/species of spiders. Among them include the tiny Hackled Orb-weavers (belonging to the family Uloboridae), that are a mere two to three millimetres long. This group of spiders, sometimes spelt Hackled Orbweavers, are also known as Cribellate Orb Weavers and Venomless Spiders.

Hackled Orb-weaver (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT
Hackled Orb-weaver (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT

They capture their prey, wrapping them in silk, then cover it in regurgitated digestive enzymes, then ingesting the liquified body.

A widespread, diverse and common spider, they can often be found around houses, gardens and amongst foliage, where they spin small orb webs.

Hackled Orb-weaver (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT
Hackled Orb-weaver (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT

Whilst some species make a single-line web, others have more complex webs, that can be either solo or joined into colonies. The cribellate silk (sometimes called hackled silk) is feathery and appears fuzzy. The web usually has an orb-web at the heart of the structure, although in some webs this may not be obvious as the orb may be heavily modified, due to damage, with web segments simply pushed aside to make room for the new web. This can create a messy looking web structure.

Hackled Orb-weaver (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT
Hackled Orb-weaver (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT

The front legs of the Uloborids are usually long, often longer than the entire length of the body.

Hackled Orbweavers (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT
Hackled Orbweavers (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT
Hackled Orbweavers (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT
Hackled Orbweavers (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT
Hackled Orbweavers (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT
Hackled Orbweavers (family Uloboridae), Alice Springs, NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Uloboridae
  • Diversity:
  • 19 genera, 337 species

Footnote & References

  1. Hackled orb-weavers, Australian Museum, https://australian.museum/learn/animals/spiders/hackled-orb-weavers/
  2. ULOBORIDAE Venomless spiders, Arachne.org.au, http://www.arachne.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=1610
  3. Uloboridae, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uloboridae (last visited Dec. 16, 2022).

Alice Springs SpidersAustralian Golden Orb Weaver Beautiful Badge Huntsman (Neosparassus calligaster) Banded Garden Spider Desert Huntsman Spider Elegant Water Spider (Dolomedes facetus) Hackled Orb-weavers Long-jawed Orb Weavers Long-tailed St. Andrew’s Cross Spider Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) Miturgidae (Elassoctenus spp) Red-headed Mouse Spider Wall Spider (Oecobius sp)

Alice Springs FaunaAlice Springs Bees Alice Springs Beetles Alice Springs Birds Alice Springs Butterflies & Moths Alice Springs Insects Alice Springs Dragonflies Alice Springs Orthoptera Alice Springs Reptiles Alice Springs Spiders Alice Springs Wasps Alice Springs Water Scorpion Black-footed Rock Wallaby Euro Garden Mantis

Alice Springs FloraAnnual Yellowtop Acacia ligulata Apple Bush Bougainvillea Burdekin Plum Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqa) Cattle Bush Desert Cotton (Aerva javanica) Desert Oak Eremophila Wildberry Feijoa sellowiana Flannel Cudweed Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Golden Everlasting Kurrajong Lemon-flowered Gum MacDonnell’s Desert Fuchsia Native Bluebell Native Tomato Needlewood Olive Tree Perennial Yellow Top Rat’s Tail River Red Gum Inland River Red Gum Rosy Dock Round-leaved Mallee Scurvy Grass Silky Eremophila Stemodia viscosa Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Sturt’s Desert Rose Tangled Leschenaultia Tar Vine Weeping Bottlebrush White Cedar Yellow Billybutton Yellow-keeled Swainsona Yellow Oleander