Bearded Wishbone Spiders

Xamiatus species

Bearded Wishbone spider, Nemesiidae, Xamiatus ilara, female Female Xamiatus ilara.

Identification

Large to very large spiders with matt black head, body and legs. Diagnostic feature is a flash of white hair (the beard) along the inner sides of the first pair of legs and the inner face of the pedipalp. Spinnerets obvious at back of body as short fingers. The common species in south-east Queensland has burgundy red chelicerae in both males and females.
 

Because of their size, males walking along the roadside in the D’Aguilar Range on summer nights are sometimes noted by very surprised car drivers.

Diversity & distribution

Rainforest from north Queensland (Wet Tropics) to northern New South Wales.

Four species in Queensland, the largest Xamiatus magnificus, from the Wet Tropics has a total length of 57mm.

Burrow

Large open burrow with very little silk at the entrance; burrow usually made in creek banks.

Bites

A rare spider from which no bites are recorded.

Similar Species

The much smaller relative, genus Ixamatus, lacks the “beard” and builds burrows similar to Namea which has a similar distribution and also occurs only in rainforest.

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