21 Common Spiders in South Australia! (2024)

Do you want to learn about the spiders found in South Australia?

Types of spiders in South Australia

Before we begin, I want you to know that the list below is just a fraction of the spiders in South Australia. Because of the sheer number of these arachnids, it would be impossible to cover them all. For example, some estimates claim there are over 50,000 kinds of spiders on the planet (and the list is still growing)!

With that being said, I did my best to develop a list of spiders that are MOST often seen and easily identified.

Here are the 21 MOST common SPIDERS found in South Australia!

#1. Australian Golden Orbweaver

  • Trichonephila edulis

Common South Australia spiders

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are about 40 mm (1.5 in) long. Males are around 7 mm (0.2 in) long.
  • The body has a black-and-white pattern on the back; the underside is yellow, while the abdomen is gray to brown.
  • The web is about 1 m (39 in) in diameter and protected on the sides by a strong “barrier” web.

There’s no reason to fear this spider in South Australia.

It isn’t aggressive, and its venom isn’t dangerous to humans. The Australian Golden Orbweaver’s bite may cause mild local pain, numbness, and swelling, but it prefers running away than striking. If you are bitten, try putting some cortisone cream on the bite.

Australian Golden Orbweavers are primarily active during the day when they check their web for prey. When insects get stuck in their web, this spider approaches and adapts its attack according to the prey’s size. For example, the spider will grab small prey and wrap it in silk without biting it. However, it will bite larger insects, wait for the venom to neutralize the prey, and then wrap it in silk.

#2. Redback Spider

  • Latrodectus hasselti

Common spiders found in South Australia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females have spherical black bodies with a visible red line and an hourglass-shaped red/orange streak on the lower abdomen. They are 10 mm (0.4 in) long.
  • Males are 3-4 mm (0.12–0.16 in) long.

The Redback Spider is also known as the Australian Black Widow.

It can be found all over South Australia and is highly venomous. Be careful at night because this spider is nocturnal and spends its days in small crevices.

Unfortunately, female Redback Spiders are known to live near or inside human dwellings because they prefer warm, sheltered locations. Its venom can harm humans, especially if a bite is left untreated. The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, headache, and agitation. Get help right away; antivenom is readily available.

#3. Bronze Hopper

  • Helpis minitabunda

Spiders of South Australia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Males are 10 mm (0.39 in) long, larger than females, 8 mm (0.31 in) long.
  • This species’ front legs are particularly long, and its first set of eyes is very large.

Look for Bronze Hoppers in moist areas with plenty of foliage. These spiders in South Australia are active mainly during the day when they hunt for small insects like flies.

They get their name from the way they hunt and catch prey. First, they track the insect and slowly move toward it to avoid being sighted. Then, once they’re within jumping distance, they attach a silk dragline to their perch and jump on the insect!

Like most jumping spiders, Bronze Hoppers are harmless to humans and rarely bite. Instead, they prefer to avoid any perceived threats, including us!

#4. Christmas Jewel Spider

  • Austracantha minax

Also known as the Jewel Spider and the Christmas Spider.

Types of spiders in South Australia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 12 mm (0.47 in). Males are 5 mm (0.20 in).
  • They are easily identified by their six distinctive spines on the abdomen.
  • Their color is predominantly black with white, yellow, and orange patterns.

Christmas Jewel Spiders in South Australia are almost always found in groups.

This social species is rarely found alone, unlike most other spiders. Look for their large aggregations of interconnecting orb webs, which can be unsettling to see!

This spider is not harmful to humans, although the large, sticky webs can be inconvenient for hikers and backpackers. They aren’t aggressive, and biting is their last resort if disturbed. Even though they are harmless, their bite can cause temporary redness, itching, and swelling.

#5. White Banded House Jumper

  • Maratus griseus
By Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (iNaturalist user: gorcc_enviroed)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 4-5 mm (0.15-0.2 in).
  • Males are blackish, brown, white, or grey.
  • Females are more camouflaged with mottled patterns of white and brown.

White-banded House Jumpers are also called peacock spiders in South Australia. This name comes from the vivid color patterns males have on their upper abdomens.

Their bodies are connected with a flexible appendage that allows them to raise their abdomen or wave it side to side. They also have lateral flaps on the abdomen, which they raise and display during courtship to attract the female. During courtship, males engage in a complex dance.

Interestingly, a female White-banded House Jumper can signal a male that she is not interested in mating. There are two benefits to this signal. First, the ritual “dance” attracts predators, which is dangerous for both males and females. Secondly, the male doesn’t have to waste energy on an uninterested female. If the male persists in dancing, even though given the sign, the female might try to attack and eat him. After all, dating is dangerous in the world of spiders. 🙂

#6. Eastern Bush Orbweaver

  • Plebs eburnus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females grow up to 8 mm (0.31 in).
  • Males reach 5 mm (0.20 in) long.
  • This species has a U-shaped white marking with two white spots on the underside of the abdomen.

Look for Eastern Bush Orbweavers in scrub and tall grasses. Females construct a vertical web decorated with stabilimentum, thick strands of silk that help to attract prey. Their webs are no higher than two meters (6.5 feet) from the ground.

This species is active mainly at night and tends to hide in leafy retreats during the daylight hours. Therefore, it’s unlikely that you’ll come into contact with this species, but if you do, don’t worry! They aren’t aggressive toward humans and rarely resort to biting.

#7. Grey House Spider

  • Badumna longinqua

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 15 mm ( 0.60 in) long. Males are less than 11 mm (0.43 in) long.
  • The body is covered with light-grey hairs and spot-like markings.
  • The legs are purplish-brown, with hairs arranged into stripes on each leg.

The Grey House Spider in South Australia prefers man-made structures.

This species is widely found in human habitats, such as the insides of houses, under furniture, and in window frames and walls.

Grey House Spiders eat ants, moths, wasps, bees, and cicadas. So, even though they might invade your home, they’re actually a good houseguest! They mostly feed during the night, stay hidden during the day, and don’t wander around households.

The only time you may see Grey House Spiders out and about is during the mating season. Males leave their webs searching for a female, venturing into the open. The hunt for a mate begins in the warmer months, with most mating finishing by early autumn.

#8. Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider

  • Argiope keyserlingi

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 10-16 mm (0.39-0.62 in) long. They have glossy carapaces with red, yellow, silver, and black bands.
  • Males are 3-4 mm (0.11-0.15 in) long. Their coloring is a pearly brown.

The Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider got its name from the unusual decoration it adds to its web. Bluish-white ribbons made from silk, called stabilimentum, form a cross through the center. Biologists think the design warns predators to stay away.

This spider in South Australia doesn’t take kindly to intruders! If disturbed or threatened, the Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider will often eject from its web or aggressively vibrate until it becomes blurry to confuse its predator.

Interestingly, this species doesn’t keep to a particular schedule for activity. Instead, it hunts and moves for short bursts before resting again, regardless of whether it’s day or night.

#9. Jovial Jumping Spider

  • Apricia jovialis
jumping spider overlooking Lovett Bay Ocrisiona jovialis (Koch L., 1879) Jovial Jumping Spider

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 10 mm (0.39 in) long.
  • They have a dark color overall, with yellow bands on the abdomen.
  • Their front two eyes are much larger than the rest.

Jovial Jumping Spiders in South Australia prefer tropical areas.

They have excellent vision and are superb hunters during the day. These amazing creatures can calculate distances while observing their prey. Then, they move to a point out of sight and, with an immense leap, fly through the air to grab their victim.

Jovial Jumping Spiders are a great pest control agent due to their diet. They eat insects and other spiders, so if you see one in your flower beds, leave it to do its work! You’ll be rewarded with fewer bugs to take care of. 🙂

This species is not aggressive. It will almost always choose to run away if disturbed. However, their fangs produce venom, and the bite can be painful. Luckily, the venom doesn’t pose any health risks to humans.

#10. Leaf-curling Spider

  • Phonognatha graeffei

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 8-12 mm (0.31-0.47 in) long. Males are 5-6 mm (0.19 to 0.23 in) long.
  • Both sexes have red-brown legs and bodies and a cream-colored pattern on their backs.
  • They are oval-shaped and have long, tapered legs.

The Leaf-curling Spider gets its name from its habit of hiding inside a curled, dry leaf. It carefully weaves the leaf into the center of its web as a shelter to hide away from birds and other predators.

Leaf-curling Spiders usually rebuild their webs at night, so you’re not likely to spot them during the day. They’re also timid and reluctant to bite. So don’t fear this species; instead, appreciate its habit of controlling pest populations!

Unlike other spiders in South Australia, Leaf-curling Spiders are communal.

Males and females, both adult and immature, live together in the same webs at opposite sides of the shelters. The males choose a female to pursue and then mate with her shortly after the female molts.

#11. Silver Orb Spider

  • Leucauge dromedaria

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females grow up to 15 mm (0.59 in) long. Males are around 6 mm (0.23 in) long.
  • This species is distinguished by the “humps” on the abdomen.
  • It has silver, black and yellow markings on a brown background.

Look for Silver Orb Spiders in garden shrubs, wooded areas, and swampland vegetation. This species creates a small, sloppy, horizontal web. They hang upside down in the web, so their silvery bodies are camouflaged against the sky, while their dark underside blends with foliage or soil.

This species must remain alert and cautious because plenty of animals prey on it. For example, birds and large bees often pick these spiders right out of the web! Wasps will even land on the web and lure the spider by imitating a struggling insect’s vibrations.

If disturbed, Silver Orb Spiders often drop to the ground and run away to hide. Though they rarely bite, their venom can result in numbness, swelling, and dizziness. Therefore, you should seek medical attention.

#12. Social Huntsman Spider

  • Delena cancerides

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The body is light brown and covered in dense, fine hairs. The legs are also hairy and can be over 15 cm (5.9 in) long.
  • The body length of females is 25-32 mm (0.98-1.26 in) long. Males are slightly smaller.

The Social Huntsman Spider is most famous for being the main star in the movie Arachnophobia. Even though it’s depicted as a vile and venomous spider in the film, its bite is not life-threatening to humans. One of the reasons this species evokes such fear is its unusually social behavior.

These spiders are incredibly cooperative, living together in tight spaces, and even sharing food. It’s not uncommon to find colonies of up to 300 spiders! If there’s one thing that people are more scared of than a spider, it’s LOTS of spiders working together.

Despite their communal lifestyle, they are highly aggressive. They will attack and even cannibalize Social Huntsman Spiders from other colonies. Additionally, they actively hunt for food instead of trapping it in a web.

You might be thinking this is a spider you want to avoid. Luckily, they think the same about us! Social Hunstman spiders are timid and reluctant regarding human interactions. Although bites are infrequent, they can cause swelling and excruciating pain. So even though they aren’t life-threatening, you should still get medical help.

#13. Sooty Orbweaver

  • Salsa fuliginata

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 7-9 mm (0.27-0.35 in) long. Males are 3.5-5 mm (0.13-0.19 in) long.
  • Their bodies are brownish with darker patterns and a thick coat of shiny hair.

The Sooty Orbweaver spider in South Australia isn’t picky about its habitat.

You can find them in dry forests, shrubs, open forests, bushes, swamps, and even suburban gardens. They’re most active from October to January, which is believed to be their mating season.

Sooty Orbweavers have an unusual habit: they decorate their webs! This species uses thickened silk threads, prey remains, and fallen debris to help the web blend in with undergrowth. Additionally, the decorations give the spider places to hide within the web.

If you find a Sooty Orbweaver, resist the urge to destroy its web or kill it. This species doesn’t pose any health risks for humans and is not known to bite. Plus, it will help keep your garden free of pests!

#14. Spotted Ground Swift Spider

  • Nyssus coloripes

Also known as the Fleet-footed Spider, Painted Swift Spider, and Orange-legged swift spider.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females grow up to 7 mm (0.27 in) long. Males are slightly smaller.
  • The legs can be up to 3 cm (1.18 in) long.
  • Their coloring is black with white lines on the body and legs. The front legs are orange or reddish.

Unlike most spiders in South Australia, this species doesn’t make webs.

Instead, the Spotted Ground Swift Spider lives and hunts primarily on the ground. Their preferred habitat is open forests and grasslands, but they sometimes wander into houses and gardens. Most of the time, they can be found in leaf debris, on rocks, fences, or tree trunks.

This species has adapted to hunting during the day, not by camouflage but by becoming even more noticeable! Spotted Ground Swift Spiders have vivid coloring and markings that repel predators. In addition, they move quickly and tremble their front legs as a warning. This trembling mimics the behavior of wasps.

#15. Badge Huntsman Spider

  • Neosparassus diana
(c) Russell Best, some rights reserved (CC BY), uploaded by Russell Best

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females grow up to 22 mm (0.86 in) long. Males are around 17 mm (0.66 in) long.
  • Their coloring is yellow, brown, or orange.
  • The eyes are arranged in two straight rows with yellowish-white hairs between the rows.

The Badge Huntsman Spider is also commonly known as the Shield Spider. The names come from the large, colorful marking on their abdomen that looks like a police badge or shield.

This species prefers forested habitats with plenty of leaf litter. However, Badge Huntsman Spiders in South Australia occasionally wander into homes or cars. They’re known to hide behind sun visors or run across the dashboard. I wouldn’t want to share my morning commute with one of these!

Unfortunately, Badge Huntsman Spiders are notorious for biting. Their venom can cause severe pain, sweating, nausea, swelling, and sometimes even vomiting. If the symptoms persist, you should seek medical attention. However, a cold pack can relieve temporary local pain from a mild bite.

#16. Black House Spider

  • Badumna insignis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The Black House Spider has a robust shape and is dark in color, usually black, dark brown, or charcoal grey, with a dorsal pattern of light grey or white markings.
  • Females are 18 mm (0.70 in) long, with a leg length of up to 30 mm (1.18 in).
  • Males are around 10 mm (0.39 in) long.

True to their name, Black House Spiders in South Australia live inside human-populated areas. Look for them in window frames, crevices, dark corners, and garden walls.

If you find one of these spiders wandering around your house, it’s likely a male. The females of this species are very territorial and rarely leave their webs. Additionally, they are nocturnal, coming out at night to repair the web by adding new silk over the old.

Black House Spiders feed on insects that are attracted to light, such as moths, beetles, and termites. Consequently, they can be good to have around if you have a pest problem. These small, unassuming spiders are harmless to humans. Instead of killing them, try transporting them outdoors or allowing them to continue eating your more harmful bugs!

#17. Common Peacock Spider

  • Maratus pavonis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are about 48 mm (1.88 in) long. They are a flat brown or gray color and have a leaflike pattern on their abdomen.
  • Males are around 38 mm (1.49 in) long. They have colorful abdomens with two red, aligned crescents that round a central red dot on a blue background.

Peacock Spiders in South Australia are very small but extremely flashy!

This species is widespread in domestic gardens, but they often go unnoticed because they’re so tiny. You might also find them in forests, hiding in low shrubs or leaf litter.

Before mating, the male Peacock Spider performs a distinctive dance to attract a female. They often lift colorful flaps on their sides, stand and wave their third legs into the air, and expand their abdomens, showing beautiful colors. This performance resembles a peacock showing off his tail feathers.

Unfortunately, this mating display comes with quite a bit of risk. The female can choose if she likes the performance or not. She will often kill and eat the male spider if she doesn’t. There’s no “letting them down gently” in the world of spider dating! 🙂

#18. Enamelled Spider

  • Plebs bradleyi

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 14-18 mm (0.55 to 0.70 in) long.
  • Males are 8-9 mm (0.31 to 0.35 in) long.
  • Coloring varies: brown, beige, yellow, and green shades are all common.

The Enamelled Spider in South Australia gets its name from the intricate design on its back, which looks like it was painted on. This species builds its small orb web closer to the ground, within leaves of shrubs or tall grass. So keep your eyes trained low if you’re looking for one!

Enamelled Spiders are primarily nocturnal. They hunt during the night inside the web and hide away in vegetation or leafy retreats during the light hours. As with most other orb weavers, this spider waits for its prey to get caught in the web. Small flying insects like fruit flies and gnats are its main food source.

#19. Green Jumping Spider

  • Mopsus Mormon

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 12-18 mm (0.47 to 0.70 in) long. They often have a red, white, or brownish-red pattern on the thorax.
  • Males are about 15 mm (0.59 in) long. They display long white “whiskers” and a crown of black hairs.
  • Both sexes have two pairs of very large eyes at the front, with smaller pairs behind.

This species is the largest jumping spider in South Australia.

Green Jumping Spiders prefer to live in humid forests near populated areas. Especially in the summer months, you’re likely to find them in your backyard or garden.

Like other jumping spiders, the Green Jumping Spider doesn’t use a web to gather food. Instead, they actively hunt insects, jumping on them and immobilizing them with their bite. They don’t use webs as shelter but rather build nests inside long, curved leaves.

The Green Jumping Spider’s bite is not toxic to humans but is notoriously painful. So if you see one of these colorful spiders, it’s best to keep your distance!

#20. Leishman’s Hunstman Spider

  • Isopeda leishmanni

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 35 mm (1.37 in) long with a leg span of around 120 mm (4.27 in).
  • Their coloring is dark gray, brownish, or black, sometimes with a lighter abdomen.
  • This species’ body shape is flat, allowing them to live in narrow places.

Leishman’s Hunstman Spiders often live in loose bark on trees, under rocks, in crevices, and foliage. So be careful on your commute! They are also known to enter cars and hide behind sun visors. Don’t worry too much, though, since this species is not venomous to humans.

Unless it’s disturbed, the Leishman’s Huntsman Spider is entirely nocturnal. Instead, it actively hunts its prey by stalking and running after it. This species is particularly fast due to its large leg span, which is 30-40 times its body length.

Interestingly, this is one of the few female spiders that doesn’t eat its mating partner after reproduction. Instead, males often live peacefully with females after mating.

#21. Long-bodied Cellar Spider

  • Pholcus phalangioides

long bodied cellar spider

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The cephalothorax (head) and abdomen are different shades of brown.
  • Females have a body length of around 8 mm (0.31 in), with males slightly smaller.
  • Legs are long and about 5 to 6 times the length of the body.

Do you know the spider that always seems to be in the corner of your basement? Well, it’s most likely the Long-bodied Cellar Spider! These long, thin, and delicate spiders are commonly found in South Australia in homes and buildings as they prefer warm habitats (they originate from subtropical climates in Asia). I know that every time I clean my basement with a vacuum, a few of these spiders end up getting sucked inside.

Some people find cellar spiders beneficial because they are known to hunt down and kill other types of spiders. But unfortunately, they will also eradicate native spider species. Interestingly, these spiders will leave their webs to hunt for other spiders! Once they find one, they subdue their victim, using their long legs to avoid being bitten in retaliation.

Despite their proximity to people, they are not dangerous and are not known to bite humans.

Check out these other guides about animals found in South Australia!

Which of these spiders in South Australia have you seen before?

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