09 April 2012

Aname tepperi – Nemesiidae

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Aname tepperi – Nemesiidae 

The Nemesiidae family currently has over 80 species, with the greatest diversity found in Western Australia, but many remain undescribed throughout their range. They are distributed widely in all Australian States and both islands of New Zealand. They are not aggressive spiders and not regarded as dangerous to humans, usually bunching up to make themselves look as small as possible or will run away. Nevertheless if seriously provoked will rear up to defend themselves and can give a nasty bite, so care should be taken if encountered. 

Aname tepperi (recently known as Chenistonia tepperi) is found in WA and SA. It is reasonably common in deep sandy soils and heathland vegetation around Esperance, but unless you go out at night in search of them, it is doubtful if you will see any, but if you do, it will very likely be the male in search of a lady. The females like most primitive spiders, rarely stray far from their burrows and are seldom seen. 

 The Males have a head/body length of around 2 cm or ¾”, but their long legs can span 7-8 cm or over 3”, however their most notable aspect is the soft silver/gold hair that covers much of the body and legs. There are several individuals shown above and most were out and about after good rain in June, others have occasionally been seen during July and August, but very rarely at other times. 

My thanks to Nicholas Birks, a volunteer at S.A.Museum (Arachnology), who identified these spiders.