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Badumna insignis (Koch Black House Spider)

Female from above

The Black House Spider is common in most areas of Australia, including Tasmania, on trees, rocks, and built structures. Also found from Japan to New Zealand. They are dark-brownish to black, robust, medium sized spiders with a body length in the female to around 19mm. Males to around 11mm. Cephalothorax darker to very black at the front, legs with thick black hairs especially femurs and tibias. The female's space web is easy to identify, resembling a dense, tangled mass of very fine crumpled chicken wire usually in a corner or crevice, with at least one round, silk-lined passageway about 15mm in diameter. A number of dome-shaped egg sacs are built inside this construction, about 7mm across and 3-4mm high, adhered to the surface of the rock, wood, or bark. The spiders are active at night, feeding on a variety of insects and other spiders. People are rarely bitten, but some cases of distressing reactions and illness have been reported. First named Amaurobius insignis by Koch in 1872, it spent a long time under the generic name Ixeuticus, among others, until Mike Gray reasserted Badumna insignis in 1983.

Spider > Desidae > Badumna insignis female
Photo: Robert Whyte

Web with entry/exit passage


Badumna insignis
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female with egg sac and spiderlings


Badumna insignis
Photo: Robert Whyte

 

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