ThomisidaeRuncinia acuminata Sidymella Sidymella hirsuta Tharrhalea sp Tharrhalea evanida Tharrhalea multopunctata Thomisus spectabilis Tmarus cinerasceus Xysticus bimaculatus Zygometis xanthogaster

Xysticus bimaculatus belonging to a group of spider known as Ground Crab Spiders. Whilst they can be seen on the ground, the female Xysticus bimaculatus are known to live in a communal sub-social lifestyle on the fringes of low shrubs and trees, with young. Their common name is Social Tharpyna.

Social Tharpyna (Xysticus bimaculatus), Brisbane QLD © Stefan Jones
Social Tharpyna (Xysticus bimaculatus), Brisbane QLD © Stefan Jones

The colours and patterns of both males and females of the species range from jet black to quite pale. The female create nests that are woven together with green leaves, twigs and other debris. As the inner leaves turn brown, more green leaves are attached to the outside of the nest.

Social Tharpyna (Xysticus bimaculatus), Brisbane QLD © Stefan Jones
Social Tharpyna (Xysticus bimaculatus), Brisbane QLD © Stefan Jones
Social Tharpyna (Xysticus bimaculatus), Brisbane QLD © Stefan Jones
Social Tharpyna (Xysticus bimaculatus), Brisbane QLD © Stefan Jones

They prey on ants, beetles, caterpillars, flies and wasps. They can also become prey to other creatures including spiders.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Araneomorphae
  • Infraorder: Entelegynae
  • Superfamily: Thomisoidea
  • Family: Thomisidae
  • Genus: Xysticus (Ground Crab Spiders)

Footnote & References

  1. Xysticus bimaculatus L. Koch, 1867 Sub-social Crab Spider, Arachne.org.au, https://www.arachne.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=1754 (this site is no longer active. Some content can be viewed on Wayback Machine)
  2. Xysticus bimaculatus, The Find-A-Spider Guide For The Spiders Of Southern Queensland, http://www.findaspider.org.au/find/spiders/714.htm
  3. Photos of Social Tharpyna Xysticus bimaculatus, iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/831772-Xysticus-bimaculatus/browse_photos
  4. Many thanks for help with ID from Pauly Jay and members of the Australian spider identification page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/australianspidereducation

ThomisidaeRuncinia acuminata Sidymella Sidymella hirsuta Tharrhalea sp Tharrhalea evanida Tharrhalea multopunctata Thomisus spectabilis Tmarus cinerasceus Xysticus bimaculatus Zygometis xanthogaster

SpidersIndex of Spider Images Araneidae — Orb Weavers Arkys Australian Huntsman Spider Barking Spider Black House Spider Carepalxis sp Celaenia sp Crab Spiders Deinopidae — Net-casting Spiders Dolomedes sp Dolophones sp Flower Spiders Hackled Orbweavers (Uloboridae) Jewel Spider Jumping Spider Long Jawed Spider (Tetragnatha sp) Lynx Spider (Oxyopes) Mangrovia albida Maratus volans Missulena occatoria (Red-headed Mouse Spider) Miturgidae Nicodamidae (Red and Black Spider) Ogre-faced Net-casting Spider Poltys sp (Twig Spider) Redback Spider Scorpion-tailed Spider (Arachnura higginsi) Thomisidae Tiger Spider (Trichonephila plumipes) White-spotted Swift Spider (Nyssus albopunctatus) Wolf Spider