Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 64 - Pisauridae (Arachnida: Araneae) - Popular summary

Vink, CJ; Dupérré, N 2010. Pisauridae (Arachnida: Araneae). Fauna of New Zealand 64, 60 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ISSN 1179-7193 (online) ; no. 64. ISBN 978-0-478-34722-7 (print) , ISBN 978-0-478-34723-4 (online) ). Published 13 Jul 2010

Popular summary

Nurseryweb spiders

Worldwide, the family Pisauridae (nurseryweb spiders) has more than 300 known species. They are found in a wide range of habitats with some genera associated with water. Nurseryweb spiders are easily recognised in New Zealand by the nurseryweb that the female builds around the eggsac, which serves to protect the newly emerged spiderlings. New Zealand nurseryweb spiders do not build a web for prey capture and are sit-and-wait predators.

Four closely related species of nurseryweb spiders are found in New Zealand; three on the mainland and one on the Chatham Islands. All species are endemic to New Zealand and are likely to be related to Australian species. The most common species is Dolomedes minor, which is found throughout New Zealand in scrubland, grassland, swamps, and marshes. Dolomedes aquaticus is found in open riverbeds and stony lakeshores throughout the South Island and in the southern half of the North Island. Another species, Dolomedes dondalei is found in shaded riverbeds throughout mainland New Zealand. The Chatham Islands species, Dolomedes schauinslandi, is known from only three islands (South East, Mangere, and Houruakopara Islands) and is nationally endangered due to its restricted range.