Adelaide's Planarian
Red-headed Mouse Spider
Red-headed Mouse Spider (Missulena occatoria)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Spiders, Scorpions, Mites & Ticks (Arachnida)
Order: Spiders (Araneae)
Family: Mouse Spider (Actinopodidae)
Species: Red-headed Mouse Spider (Missulena occatoria)
This Photo:     Dorsal

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), and elsewhere
A small spider (when compared to a mouse, but when blown up on the computer screen is not something you'd want to meet in a dark alley

Only the males have the red head. The females have black heads, but occationally red fangs.
They are an "old world" (or primative) spider partially because their fangs point down. This is considered by human logic to be a less efficient killing machine. Modern day spiders were designed with hi-tech sideways pointed fangs, not needing to lift the head to kill it's prey.
Red headed mouse spiders don't use their venom very much (according to Qld Museum); thank fully as they are as toxic as it's cousin the Sydney Funnel Web. Funnel Web Spider anti-venom works as well. But it's best not to get bitten in the first place.
Humans do get very emotional about spiders. With the Red-Back & Sydney Funnel Web given a special place in our culture (they are the most dangerous spiders in the world), but the Funnel web has only about 13 deaths recorded against it (ever). In fact, only 27 fatalities from all spiders in Australia (mainly children, sick & ederly). 138 shark fatalities. About 1 snake fatality a year. At least these animals were here first. Yet 10 people every year die in Australia from introduced European Honey Bees, and somehow people think of them in such a positive way ????
Dummy spit over

Copyright © 2006- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 19-Apr-2006
This species is an Australian Native Species, not listed in the SA Murray Mallee Survey of 2010.