Sac spiders

Slender Sac Spiders (Cheiracanthium gilva, family Clubionidae)

Identification

Long slender pale spiders with long front legs; ends of legs with black pads that enable them to walk on vertical surfaces.

Slender Sac spider, Clubionidae, Cheiracanthium gilva, female

Length: Legs span up to 50 mm.

Diversity & distribution

Australia-wide. Found in vegetation, shrubs, bushes.

A number of closely related species throughout Australia.

Bite

A number of bites of varying concern are attributed to these spiders. Bites may cause more than minor pain, redness and swelling but no serious long term problems have been reported.

Notes

The family affinities of this spider are in heavy contention in international science; the alternate family in which they are placed is the Miturgidae. Unlike many spiders which will only take a moving prey, Cheiracanthium are known to feed on butterflies.

As one of the species that readily colonises new areas, these spiders have featured as useful insect predators in agricultural studies.

Stout Sac Spider (Clubiona species, family Clubionidae)

Identification

Small slender pale spiders. Colour: Usually fawn, sometimes with red-brown stripe in mid body or with reddish chevrons.

Length: Legs span up to 40mm.

Distribution

Many species throughout Australia; up to 10 species may occur in one location.

Found under bark, in leaf litter.

Web

None but a bright white resting cell is built under bark.

Bite

Mild local pain, redness and swelling.

Notes

Nocturnal hunter on bark and vegetation; the many threads of web seen on bushes in the autumn mornings are built by these spiders.

Egg sacs constructed under bark.

Similar species

Many species throughout Australia; can be confused with the very long-legged Slender Sac Spider.

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