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Centralian Rainbow Spider?

— by Chris Watson

Black House Spider Badumna insignis.

No not really. Local arachnid expert Robbie Henderson has been kind enough to identify this spider for us as the Black House Spider Badumna insignis. This is a common spider around Alice Springs.

It is a smallish spider which grows to a total legspan of about 3cms. I asked Robbie to identify this one for us due to its superficial similarity to a funnel-web spider. While the Black House Spider is venomous it is not considered dangerous, and is described as being generally timid and unlikely to bite.

They tend to stick to one little area and maintain a messy looking little web in a corner of a building or among rough tree bark. The entire spider is covered with hairs, and the rainbow colours visible on the lower half of the abdomen are just a trick of the light – the flash from the camera refracting through the hairs. In natural light the spider is a uniform dark grey or black.