Common Two-tailed Spider - Tamopsis brisbanensis


This page contains pictures and information about Common Two-tailed Spiders that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Leg to leg 20mm
Two-tailed Spiders are common but hard to find. They are small and heavily camouflaged. In summer, if we search patiently enough, we almost certainly will find them in every tree trunk in our backyard. The spiders body is flat and brown in colour, with the pattern of bark. Their legs are long although the third pair is relatively shorter. The spider has two tails on its abdomen. Actually the two tails are their spinners, which they lay silk to trap their prey. 
Can you see me?
Two-tailed Spiders live on bark or rock surface. They do not build web or any silken shelter. Usually the spiders just wait and stand still on the tree trunk for the whole day and night. When disturbed, they run away very fast.  

If you still cannot see the spider, try the following picture, which was processed to enhance the outlines of the spider image.

Hersil4.jpg (72579 bytes)   
"Yes, I can see you now."
Two-tailed Spiders hunt during day and night. The spider waits for the prey on the tree trunk. When there is a small insect within attack range, the spider will face backwards to the insect, then run side-way as a crab, the insect as center, the spider runs clockwise or anti-clockwise quickly, until the insect is  tighten up by the silk. The spider lays very thick silk to entangle their prey. The two tails, or the  long spinners, are to lay the thick silk. The silk is projected across the length of the spinner, i.e. the length of the spinner is the thickness of the silk.
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Egg sac of Two-tailed Spider, 5mm diameter.
Not too far away from the spider, sometimes we found a grayish small silk ball hanging from tree trunk by a thick silk stalk. It is the egg sac of Two-tailed Spider. Their egg sac can be found in summer time.
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On Mar 2008 in Karawatha Forest, we found this Two-tailed Spider on a Acacia tree trunk.

1. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson 1969, p42.
2. Tamopsis species - The Find-a-spider Guide for Australian Spiders, University of Southern Queensland, 2007.

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Last updated: October 02, 2011.