Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

<I>Latrodectus hasseltii</I>

Latrodectus hasseltii


Regional Maps

Family THERIDIIDAE Sundevall, 1833

Compiler and date details

2012 - Updated by Dr Robert Raven, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, with families by Dr Barbara Baehr, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, and Dr Helen Smith, Australian Museum, Sydney, as indicated for each of these.


The Theridiidae include the well known and highly venomous Redback and Brown Widow spiders (Latrodectus hasseltii and L. geometricus). However, they are a large, diverse spider family that can be difficult to separate from other families. The classical diagnostic character — the presence of serrate setae on tarsus IV — can be difficult to observe. Moreover, this character is also found in the closely related Nesticidae. Theridiids occur over all of Australia, in a variety of habitats.

Although Episinus Walckenaer in Latreille, 1809 specimens unidentified to species are known from state museums, it is doubtful whether the genus occurs in Australia, as Yoshida and Koh (2011) removed Janula Strand, 1932 from synonymy which is supported by the work of Rodrigues et al. (2022).



Among the araneoids, theridiids differ from nesticids, and most other spiders, by the cup-shaped male palpal tibia.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
17-Nov-2022 THERIDIIDAE Sundevall, 1833 21-Sep-2022 MODIFIED
15-Oct-2020 25-Oct-2012 MODIFIED
15-Oct-2020 23-Oct-2012 MODIFIED
15-Oct-2020 20-Jun-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)