white-tailed spider

Not all spiders spin webs to catch their meals. When night falls in Australia, the white-tailed spider hunts its prey on foot. This spider sneaks up on small insects or other spiders and sinks its fangs into them, injecting paralyzing venom. The white-tailed spider's bite, while deadly to its prey, is not lethal to humans.

Scientific name: Lampona cylindrata
Size: about one inch long
Diet: small insects
Habitat: lives under rocks and leaves, in tree bark
in the woods, and in gardens throughout Australia
Characteristics: feeds only at night; has striped legs and a white spot on the tip of its abdomen
Significance: helps control insect populations

Image credits: main image: courtesy of AMNH.