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Other Names: Sheet-web Spiders, Sheet weavers.
Family: Linyphiidae (Money Spiders). 34 species known in Australia, 200 species estimated. 4,400 species in the world. Many of the currently known Australian species were introduced by humans.
Size: Body 1-6 mm
Distribution: Occur over most or perhaps all of Australia. A few species only live in caves.
References: Whyte and Anderson. Framenau, Baehr & Zborowski. Wikipedia
About the Money Spider
Whyte and Anderson say that "This family is one of the great unexpolred frontiers in Australian arachnology". They have 8 eyes in two rows and long slender legs. They make small sheet-webs with a raised peak or dome in the middle. The spider rests upside-down inside the dome. These spiders are most often seen because of their webs, especially in the early morning when there is dew on themand there may be hundreds of the tiny webs in a meadow.
Spiders in this family are commonly known as money spiders in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and in Portugal, from the superstition that if such a spider is seen running on you, it has come to spin you new clothes, meaning financial good fortune.
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.
A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, by Robert Whyte and Greg Anderson.
This is my favourite field guide to Australian spiders. It has a proper index. It has amazing photographs. If I had to find a weak point of it, it would be that there are so many photos that there is less writing than there could have been. I like photos though so it's all good. 464 pages.
From the publisher, "A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia uses photographs of live animals to enable identification of commonly encountered spiders to the family level and, in some cases, to genus and species. Featuring over 1300 colour photographs, it is the most comprehensive account of Australian spiders ever published. With more than two-thirds of Australian spiders yet to be scientifically described, this book sets the scene for future explorations of our extraordinary Australian fauna."
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