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Current status

[Photo by Hickman 1926.]

This spider (Hadronyche pulvinator) is listed as presumed to be extinct in the schedules of the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.

What to do we know about this spider?

Basically we know very little about the spider. It was first described by Hickman in 1926. He found two spider burrows in soft soil near the bank of a creek in the Cascades area near Hobart. One burrow was about 18cm deep with a silken tube inside. He sketched the burrow, an egg capsule, the spiders eyes and also the adult.

At first it was grouped in the Atrax genus which includes the Sydney funnel web, but it has since been moved to Hadronyche, a closely related group of funnel webs. There are no other records of this spider in Tasmania. Another in this genus occurs in South Australia, living in similar burrows.

Why is it listed as extinct?

It is listed as extinct as there have been no other sightings or records of this spider for over 50 years. The place where it was found has now been destroyed through suburban growth. Loss of habitat is one of the main causes of species extinction or serious decline.

In this instance, nothing can be done to save this species. It is already too late. We can use this knowledge to try and prevent it happening to other species.

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