Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Missed opportunity for a "Cyclops spider"

Now this is a weird one; Family Oecobiidae Genus: Oecobius



They are very odd looking with their small bunch of eyes and flat round head.

The common names for this family are Disk web weavers or Flat-mesh weavers, both pretty boring
as far as common names go. No one ever thought to call them Cyclops spiders? I would have.

Apparently Oecobiidae meaning means "those who are house-living", still boring but it makes sense I guess!

Apparently they are quite common and live in cities (my specialty!) but I've only ever found the one, in a tiny garden in Marrcikville. I was pretty stumped when I did find it! but  I did a quick search on arachne.org.au and worked it out (such a great website!).

Wikipedia tells me that they eat ants and that a "characteristic of the family is the anal gland; it bears a tuft of long hairs" but gives no indication of the function of these hairs...? Ah if only I had more time (and never ending research funding).

Anyway, apart from that I know next to nothing about these little guys, but I'm going to keep an eye out for them. I think most of the info on them comes from the US or Europe so it would be interesting to see if they have the same affinity to urban areas in Australia.