MOUSE SPIDERS

Mouse Spiders have a distinctive, bulb-like head and their jaws and large fangs are huge and powerful for killing prey. These species live in burrows which are tunnel-like structures extending to a depth of over 30 centimeters and are found usually near river banks, creeks and lakes. They are uncommon in urban areas.
Mouse Spiders are aggressive and attack prey as large as a mouse. They also bite humans if provoked. Male spiders wander out of burrows in search of a mate while the female generally spends most of her life inside her cozy burrow which is a refuge from predators and parasites and keeps the temperature cool.
They prey on insects, small animals, reptiles, bandicoots, centipedes, scorpions and butterflies which stray towards their burrow’s entrance.

QUICK FACTS

Common name Mouse Spider
Scientific name Missulena Bradleyi
Weight Approximate 4 to 7 grms
Length Approximate 6 to 12mm
Color Red, Blue, Black
Mating Season Summer
Number of eggs Approximate 50 to 130
Habitat Gardens, Parks and Native Vegetation
Lifespan About 2 years

LIFE CYCLE

Egg: Egg laying typically takes place in the late summer or fall. The female chooses a safe, dark place to deposit her eggs and builds a silken “chamber’ around her. She attaches a thin disc of silk to a flat surface. She deposits her eggs onto the center of it and finishes off by covering them all with a thicker layer of silk about 10-12 millimeters in diameter. The eggs underneath create slight bulges in the center of the “disc”. She lays anywhere from 50-130 individual pale-colored eggs at a time.

Spider Lings: : Spider lings emerge from the egg shells in about 3-4 weeks, but stay inside the safety of the silken egg sac until they have completed their first molt. After that, they disperse and to their own individual ways.
Both male and female mouse spiders have very large fangs and fang bases.
The lifespan of females are long-lived because they rarely leave their burrows and male live for about 2 years.

Damage:Mouse spiders are aggressive spiders and bite if provoked. However, the mouse spider is far less aggressive towards humans (unless provoked) and may often give ‘dry’ bites.