Shuttlecock wolf spider (Mainosa longipes)


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A fairly recently described species, this small turret-building wolf spider has unique markings on the abdomen and a pale strip on the carapace. The burrows have a small turret or leaf litter around, cemented with the spiders previous shed exoskeletons, silk and poop, however this is not the strangest feature of the burrow. The burrow’s entrance is rather large for the spider, and both young an adult individuals seem to possess the same sized burrow entrance regardless of the size of the spider. Further, the burrows narrows rapidly about 5cm from the entrance to the point where the spider cannot actually fit through the hole. The reason for this is unclear, but shining a flashlight down the burrow will often reveal the black velvety abdomen of the spider stuck in the hole! They are found in arid regions of SA and WA in places with soft, dry soil and plenty of leaf litter.

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