Spiders across Australia

There are around 3,600 described species of spider across Australia, however it is estimated that there are 10,000 species. Spiders are a type of Arachnid and are in the largest group of animals on Earth, the arthropods. In ancient Greek Arthropods  means jointed foot: arthro = joint, podos = footed. All arthropods are animals with hard external skeletons and jointed limbs.

What are Arachnids

Arachnids include spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, ticks and mites.

Image © Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Arachnids are animals that have:

  • eight walking legs
  • two main body parts
  • jaws adapted for tearing or piercing prey
  • simple eyes
  • a skeleton outside the body

A spider’s body has two parts; head and thorax are fused together to form the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The cephalothorax and the abdomen are joined by the pedicel.

Try the Web2spider Toolkit is designed to monitor the abundance and diversity of spiders.

Newly hatched spiderlings

Australian spiders have a fearsome reputation, but a death in April 2016 was the country’s first recorded spider-caused death since 1981. It’s still a good idea to know how to identify some of Australian spiders.

Backyard Buddies

Backyard Buddies is a free initiative run by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. It gives you simple tips to transform your backyard into a safe habitat for native animals. Find out how you can Backyard Buddy.

Discover some of the other animals that are living in your Backyard!

Find out more with the Australian Museum

Find out what else you can do to create a wildlife friendly backyard with the What’s in your Backyard activity series.

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