The Semi-social Pygmy Tarantula (Coremiocnemis sp.)

The Semi-social Pygmy Tarantula (Coremiocnemis sp.) is a fascinating tarantula local to the Cairns region of Far North Queensland. Inhabitants of tropical rainforests, while they do burrow to some degree, they prefer to shelter under rocks and logs. They web extensively, making heavy use of silk sheet networks with one or more entrances leading to […]

Eau de Peppermint Stick Insect: The phasmid perfume that packs a punch


We’ve all at one time or another experienced the unique joy of being trapped in a confined space with someone wearing too much perfume. Even a pleasant scent, if applied too liberally, can send you clawing for the door handle and spluttering for air. Now consider this perfume – perhaps unpleasant to you from the […]

Metallic Asian spider found living in the Northern Territory’s Fogg Dam


A metallic-silver spider previously unknown in Australia has been found living at multiple sites near Darwin in the Northern Territory by myself and entomologist Graham Brown. The spider, known as the Grass Cross Spider (Argiope catenulata), belongs to the group of large, colourful St. Andrew’s Cross Spiders that frequent gardens and parklands across Australia. These spiders […]

This Black Slug is invading Australia at the speed of … slug


If you live in one of the cooler, wetter climes of Australia, you might have spotted this stunning black slime-machine cruising around. The name is the Black Slug (Arion ater), and the game is very slow invasion of foreign soils. The Black Slug is a humble native European that likes to get into places it […]

Meet the Huntsman spider that took down a possum

This epic battle is on a smaller scale than it might appear. (Photo supplied by Justine Latton)

Have you heard there’s a new spider in town with a thirst for possum blood? Yesterday I was interviewed by Jules Schiller on ABC Drive (you can listen here just after 1:45:10) on the topic of the possum-killing Huntsman spider which has recently fuelled nightmares across Australia and beyond. “Are Huntsmen evolving into bloodthirsty meat-eaters?” […]

Do White tail spiders cause necrosis? Putting spider bites to the test


You’re reclining on your couch in the late evening, watching something on TV and thinking about heading to bed. Out of the corner of your eye you see a flicker of movement. You look down to find a dark shape lurching across the floor in the shadows. You flick on the lights, and suddenly all […]

Are you sharing your house with these common Jumping spiders?


If you live in Australia, there’s one universal truth: you’ve got spiders in or around your house. The good news is that very few spiders are dangerous to humans, and having spiders around is a totally normal part of the great balancing act of the natural world. Many people enjoy having spiders around because they […]