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Other Names: Micro Gondwanan Spiders
Family: Anapidae (Tiny Orb-weavers). Subfamily Micropholcommatinae (Micro Gondwanan Spiders). These spiders used to be in the family Micropholcommatidae, which was absorbed into the Anapidae family in 2016.
Size: Male body 1.5 mm, Female body 0. 8mm
Distribution: A CSIRO map shows the Eastern half of Australia, plus some have been found in WA so they probably live over much of Australia.
References: Framenau, Baehr & Zborowski.
About the Micropholcomma
This is the smallest spider I can remember seeing. The picture may not look that impressive, however the spider was about the size of a small grain of dirt. It was barely even recognisable as a spider to the unassisted eye, it looked more like a dot than a spider.
As of 2016, there are 8 species in the genus Micropholcomma. The genus was first described in 1927 by Crosby & Bishop. They are very small spiders (hence their name contains "micro"). There isn't much information about them compared to the larger more familiar spiders. The Australian lungless spider (Micropholcomma longissimum). There is still debate about how these tiny spiders should be classified.
Note that dead spiders usually fade in colour, so nearly all the spiders will look blacker or darker in colour in real life than they do in the photos of dead spiders from the museum.
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney.
Spiders: A Wild Australia Guide, by Patrick Honan.
96 pages. This is a smaller spider guide showing the most well known spiders and then a few more.
From the publisher, "Australia is home to more than 2000 known species of spiders - and it is estimated that four times that number actually exist in this country waiting to be discovered! Within the ranks of Australian spiders we find some of the most uniquely interesting and skilled creatures of the animal world, along with a few potentially-deadly species and even more harmless individuals with fearsome reputations. Love them or loathe them, spiders are a part of everyday life, and this Steve Parish WILD AUSTRALIA GUIDE provides an insight into the lives of some of these often-reclusive visitors to our gardens, homes and wild places. From how to identify them and where they live, to their unique skills and behaviours, this guide lets you get up close to some of the most common Australian spiders. Who knows? You may even find some of these fascinating creatures living right under your nose."
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