Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Black tunnelweb spider

Pare - Black tunnelweb spider

Pare - Black tunnelweb spider

English name: black tunnelweb spider

Scientific name: Porrhothele antipodiana (Walckenaer)
order = Araneae; family = Hexathelidae

  • is a native spider common thoroughout Aotearoa / New Zealand, and is quite at home in urban gardens;
  • is not poisonous to humans, unlike its relative the Australian funnelweb spider, although it can inflict a painful bite if mishandled;
  • is a "primitive" spider, like the tarantulas;
  • has a tunnel-shaped web, about 200 mm deep and 20-30 mm across, built in damp places: under logs or stones, in rock walls, or in basements or wood piles;
  • picks up vibrations of potential prey (e.g., insects) moving across the mouth of the web. The spider rushes out to overpower prey, and carries it to the back of the tunnel;
  • feeds mainly on beetles, slaters, and millipedes.