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One thing about NZ spiders many don't appreciate, is that a lot of them are nocturnal. The jumping spiders or wolf spiders may be out during the day, but most of the others prefer the night. If you are basically a small bag of protein to any bird that's about, it doesn't pay to advertise your presence too widely. The night-time is your friend.

This means if you really want to see these guys, you have to go into the NZ bush at night, in the dark, and see what's around for yourself. This can be fascinating because this is one some of our largest native spiders make an appearance.

One of these is the tree trapdoor spider (family Migidae). These lurking predators lie in wait for any prey item that triggers their warning threads. Their strong limbs and large fangs suffice to subdue most prey.


Then there are the Amaurobiids. These large and agile spiders scout over the forest floor. You can sometimes hear them crashing through the undergrowth, chasing down prey (rats, feral pigs). Well, maybe not quite that large…but they are a good size.



Other hunters include our native Pisauriids- or the nurseryweb spider. These lurk on vegetation and rely upon their size to overpower any prey.


Most people will be familiar with the large sheetwebs that stretch- sometimes between trees- in the NZ bush. This is home to our native agelenids- in this case Cambridgea foliata.