CLUBIONIDAE Sac spiders

Clubionids are abundant and widespread in all Australian states and territories, including offshore islands and neighbouring countries, yet largely unknown and barely studied, probably because they are fast, nondescript spiders and many species seem very similar to each other. Clubionids occupy virtually all Australian habitats from rainforests to deserts, even beach zones. They can range from 4-30mm in body length and are generally pale to fawn or darker brown, sometimes with more or less strongly-marked, often purple patterns. They have 8 equally-sized eyes in two rows, the back row often wider, the front row straight or down-curved. The most obvious feature distinguishing most of them from other spider families is the forward-pointing appearance of their large and usually dark chelicerae or jaws. They tend to be slender with cigar-shaped, or slightly triangular abdomens, with a somewhat squared-off leading edge to a rectangular cephalothorax. Their conical spinnerets are usually obvious. Clubionids build a sac-like retreat on foliage or under bark and possibly in other crevices in debris or on the ground between or under stones. Some live in the dimples of spotted gums. The genus Cheiracanthium is placed by some in the family Miturgidae, but here we follow Deeleman-Reinhold and Raven in placing Cheiracanthium in the Clubionidae. For a long time most species in described Australian genera were in Clubiona and Cheiracanthium. Rainbow created amother genus in 1920 for a female on Lord Howe Island. More recently Pteroneta has been found in the northern tropics and Matidia in northern Australia and South East Queensland. Cheiracanthium is usually found on foliage, whereas Clubiona is usually associated with the persistent bark around the base of eucalypts or in other crevices and secret places.

Clubiona

Clubiona modesta (LP) L. Koch, 1873 Small Garden Sac Spider, large palps
A common spider in parks and gardens and nearby bushland, probably spread by humans. Usually found in a silken retreat in a folded green leaf, in all... 

Clubiona modesta

Clubiona modesta (SP) L. Koch, 1873 Small Garden Sac Spider, small palps
This species may be considered in the interim Clubiona modesta sensu Koch, who did not describe the similar species with big male palps. A... 

Clubiona sp. long jaws

Clubiona sp L. Koch, 1873 Small Garden Sac Spider, long jaws
In Victoria and NSW this Clubiona sp. with enormously elongated paturons (the massive part of the jaws) is similar to Clubiona modesta... 

Clubiona Rinn Avenue Bunya

Clubiona sp. Juvenile Rinn Avenue Bunya
An intriguingly pattered Juvenile Clubiona sp. very small, about 3.5mm body length found in dry eucalypt acreage north west of Brisbane.  

Clubiona North Stradbroke Island

Clubiona sp. near C. elaphines North Stradbroke island
A medium to large spider, females to 20mm, likely to be widespread throughout most habitats in eastern Australia from beaches to deserts. Usually... 

 

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