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Redback spider (male)

Latrodectus hasselti


Tiny spider with 4mm body length and white patterns on a black body.
Relatively large coiled palps are obvious in the dorsal view.
Long, finely tapering forelegs typical of Theridiidae.


This one was slowly climbing a wall in a coastal camping ground. At about two metres above ground it is out of it's typical zone which is within thirty cms of the ground.


Females of this species are the best known spider across Australia and represent the 'down-under' version of the American Black Widow with the red stripe on it's back AND the venom. Males are not often noticed due to their miniscule size.
Many species of spider indulge in sexual cannibalism but these males actively assist the female by flipping the abdomen over to the female's mouth during the act. Perhaps even more bizarre some males have been seen biting a hole through the exoskeleton of an immature female to impregnate her without getting eaten.. Crikey!!

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EntomologyForKids 6 months ago

looks cool!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 months ago

Considering the opposite hemisphere and the red ventral v. dorsal maybe your males flip the other way. :-D

reprobate31 6 months ago

Vicious little creatures! I had no idea about the last bit. I wonder if our widows in US do the same?

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway a year ago

Yes only the males look like this. So small but apparently mature. It was definitely a specs-on jobbie.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

A redback without a red back? Only the males, Mark? Awesome spotting, and great info too.

maplemoth662 2 years ago

Photo No. 1: is a very beautiful, Spider photo....

Mark Ridgway
Spotted by
Mark Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.79, Long: 148.56

Spotted on Mar 22, 2018
Submitted on Mar 28, 2018

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