Silverbacks

Genus Idiommata, family Barychelidae

Silverback, Brushfooted trapdoor spider, Idiommata, male Male Silverback, with silver sheen of hair on its head. Silverback, Brushfooted trapdoor spider, Idiommata, female Female Silverback.

Identification

Large brown to black spiders; the darker males have a silver sheen of hair on their head, brown females have a golden sheen. The body of both is black and hairy. The "feet" and underside of the legs is covered with dense hair that flashes iridescent in some light.

Diversity & distribution

A number of species, most new, occur throughout Australia, several in Queensland.

They are found in both rainforest and open forest throughout Australia, except Tasmania.

Burrow

Short, open, often with a collar of leaves; a short horizontal flask down the burrow is sealed by a thick door.

Bite

One bite to a child in Perth caused a serious reaction.

Similar species

Being large, they can be confused with a tarantula but the spinnerets of silverbacks are hardly noticeable from above.

Silverback, Brushfooted trapdoor spider, Idiommata, burrow entrance

Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.