What is this?

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 10:48
ThreadID: 131386 Views:2201 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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Hi all, was wondering if anyone knows what this is, I presume it's some kind of spider? Never saw it, and didn't want to disturb it, was the size of a soft ball.. We came across it when camped at Mcdermid Rock, on the Norseman/Hyden road in WA.. Cheers Odog.. Hope this works, have never tried to put a photo on a thread before..
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 11:06

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 11:06
Could be these!

Foliage webbing spider!
AnswerID: 595065

Follow Up By: Notso - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 11:11

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 11:11
A Few images here.

Foliage webbing spider.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 11:07

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 11:07
I blieve there are sme spiders that nest like that ...... but my money would be on hairy catapillars.

Either way ..... leave it alone, stay away and don't camp near it.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 16:08

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 16:08
Think I might have to go with you on the Hairy Caterpillars Bantam. A sight to behold when on the move.
Dave.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 18:57

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 18:57
Got the worst allergic reaction to those little buggers. Burning, itching, went on for days!
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 19:51

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 19:51
Hairy caterpillars in a nest, with a full spider web encompassing them? I don't think so!
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 22:33

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 22:33
I'd go along with Bantam on that. It looks very much like the nests that form along the NW Coastal Hwy around Carnarvon at certain times of the year. Being the inquisitive type I actually, VERY CAREFULLY, pulled one apart and yep, heaps of hairy caterpillars inside.

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 13:15

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 13:15
Notso has nailed it, first go. Used to see a lot of them throughout the urban areas and wheatbelt of W.A. when I was much younger - but their numbers seem to have declined in the last few decades - probably due to excessive clearing, urban encroachment and fires.

Their habitat is supposed to be Australia-wide - but I've seen a whole lot more of these nests in Southern W.A., than in Northern W.A.

They're only a small spider and not aggressive - but their toxicity is unknown, so it doesn't pay to poke them.
They seem to be quite a retiring spider and you don't see them exposed very often, unlike some other spiders such as black house spiders and redbacks.
However, their genus is actually related to the black house spider.

Here's links to a couple of sites with more info and some pictures ...

Phryganoporus Candidus Spider

Find A Spider Guide - Phryganoporus candidus

I recall reading some time back where a spider expert said there could be up to several thousand species and sub-species of spiders in Australia that are currently unnamed, uncatalogued, and therefore not studied.

Seven new species of spider recently discovered in the NT

Did you find any trapdoor spiders out there? They're common to the wheatbelt, the Goldfields and the Eastern woodland regions of W.A. - and the work they put into their home is nothing short of amazing. I can honestly say I've never seen a trapdoor spider actually digging - they must do it at night.

Cheers, Ron.


AnswerID: 595074

Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 20:55

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 20:55
Thanks for the read Ron, very interesting to lean more about them. Love seeing different stuff, and be able to find out more info.. Cheers Odog
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 20:45

Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 at 20:45
Thanks guys, we stayed well clear of it! I've never seen anything like it before. The hairy caterpillars you talk of, are the the ones that get in a big mass group on gum trees, and spit? Don't think it was those ones.. The web was very thick, main support web was like a thick rope holding the ball mass between the branches.. This thing was only a meter or so off the ground.. Thanks for the replies.. Cheers. Odog
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