Habitat and Biology
Like the trap-door spiders, the mouse spider lives in tunnels in the ground. Unlike the Stanwellia trap-door spiders, mouse spiders do possess a `trap-door' lid at the entrance. Males are most active during the daylight hours of the early winter, when they search for a mate. A close relative, Missulena occatoria Walckenaer, occurs in the drier western areas of Victoria and males of this species have a distinctive red cephalothorax and black abdomen.
The spiderlings of the mouse spider apparently disperse on gossamer, a technique which is rare in mygalomorphs. The common name derives from the erroneous belief that this spider excavated a mouse-like burrow.
Cephalothorax and legs glossy black, abdomen slightly paler with distinct pale bluish patch on upperside towards the front.
Dark brown to blackish.
Recognised by the large cephalothorax, stout legs, and eye formation spread across the front of the cephalothorax instead of in a compact group as in trap-door spiders.
Does not build a web.
Although some experimental evidence suggests the venom of mouse spiders is relatively toxic, most recorded bites have not produced serious reactions.