A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia

A field guide to Spiders of Australia by Robert Whyte and Greg Anderson, 468 pages, 1350 images, 78 families 381 genera and 836 species. Copies signed by both authors are available for $50 each (including postage).


No nature book is ever perfect or stays up to date forever, because new discoveries are made every day. Keep up with the latest here.

Pages 23 and 43: Xysticus albomaculatus should be Xysticus bimaculatus.

Pages 31 and 316: The body length of Holconia immanis is noted as 45 mm. Readers report specimens with body lengths of 50 mm and leg spans of 170 mm while Queensland Museum reports Huntsman leg spans of up to a whopping 230 mm. The Holconia sp. on page 316 is probably Holconia immanis so its body lengths should read ♀ 50 mm ♂ 45 mm as should the one on page 31.

Page 45: under the photo of the Idiommata sp. bottom left the family is given as Idiopidae. The correct family name is Barychelidae.

Page 64-65: Apologies to Patrick Calmels, of Squeaking Point, North Coast Tasmania, the real photographer of the beautiful Backobourkia photos wrongly credited to Allan Lance of Bordertown SA. Thanks Patrick for bringing this error to our attention and please accept our sincerest apology for the occurence. The error will be fixed before the next reprinting as well as being flagged here.

Page 127: Corinnidae. Top 2 images. The images of Battalus adamparsonsi is male not female & Battalus spinipes is female not male.

Page 226-227: Some Australian Afraflacilla are now in the genus Psenuc created by Jerzy Prószyński in 2016, notably Afraflacilla courti which is not officially listed in Australia but found in north Queensland, and Afraflacilla milledgei from the Kimberly region of Western Australia. Therefore the Afraflacilla courti on page 226 and the undescribed Stridulating Jumping Spider depicted on top right on page 227 should be written Psenuc courti

Page 271-272: Some of the undescribed Peacock spiders on these pages have since been named. The male 'White-dot' is a new genus, Saratus hesperus which refers to the Latin name for the planet Venus as the Morning Star, corresponding to the light-coloured spot at the centre of the fan of this species. 'Blue-stripes' from Maitland NSW is Maratus neptunus. Page 271 bottom left is Maratus nimbus. On page 272 top left is Maratus cristatus , top right is Maratus trigonus the undescribed male 'Orange' middle right is Maratus aurantius while the undescribed male from Stanthorpe is Maratus cinerus.

Page 292: Unfortunately the salticid photos at the top of this page are not Opisthoncus serratofasciatus (which to add insult to injury is spelled wrongly in the book as serattofasciatus). The male and the female in the photos are the same species, but not Opisthoncus serratofasciatus. The confusion arose because (as we have learned since) three species at least occupy this cluster. They include the real Opisthoncus serratofasciatus which we have not yet identified with certainty and another two similar species which we might call Opisthoncus sp. "not serratofasciatus anvilhead" which is the one shown on page 292; and Opisthoncus sp. "not serratofasciatus anvilhead tyrehead" which has a large bump between the posterior median eyes that looks like a tyre with a ring and central depression. It looks like the real Opisthoncus serratofasciatus is a bit of a tyrehead too. But other characters do not match. Double bummer, the Opisthoncus parcedentatus on the previous spread, which is correctly identified, is said to be in the serattofasciatus group (wrong spelling again!). It would be better to say that the Opisthoncus sp. "not serratofasciatus" is in the Opisthoncus parcedentatus group. It has to be added here that the photos on page 290 represent only one of the possible Opisthoncus parcedentatus species, because two separate species have been described as Opisthoncus parcedentatus at different times and this situation has not been resolved.

Page 322: The Leucauge dromedaria Humped Silver Orb-weaver ♀ Brisbane QLD is wrongly credited to Robert Whyte. The correct credit is Photo Ed Nieuwenhuys.

Page 379: Thanks to a great bit of detective work from Adam Parsons we now know the Storena on page 379 is Storena cyanea not Storena colossea

Page 435 Austrotengella hackerae ♀ Cunningham's Gap QLD is not a Zoropsid, it is probably a Toxopsoides sp. in family Toxopidae. It should be noted also that Australian Zoropsids are not cribellate.

Page 437: at the end of the first paragraph a glitch caused the cross reference to page 19 to be repeated. It needs only to be stated once.
Uliodon ferrugineus, a Zoropsid, is not in the book but you can see a photo by Adam Parsons here

Page 448: the list of common names for spider families includes the large subfamilies of Araneidae, resulting in a list of 86 items. However only 78 spider families are represented, if you take away the subfamilies which have a lower rank. The subfamilies are included in the list for ease of use.

Catalogue of Peacock Spiders

Jürgen Otto and David Hill have produced a Catalogue of Peacock Spiders usefully arranged into groups of close relatives with photographs of the males and distribution maps.


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