T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Seashore spider (Amaurobioides maritima)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Anyphaenidae
Genus: Amaurobioides
Species: A. maritima
Binominal name: Amaurobioides maritima

Amaurobioides maritimus is of three species on New Zealand spiders in the Genus: Amaurobioides (Ghost spiders). They are Amaurobioides maritima, Amaurobioides pletus and Amaurobioides picunus.
They all are found on the southern coasts of New Zealand’s South Island where conditions are suitable.
The map below shows the areas of the where the three Amaurobioides species were collected for a study by the Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. 
To read the full report on this study visit: 
http://www.biotaxa.org/Zootaxa/article/viewFile/zootaxa.1425.1.1/13016
There has been one reported find of Amaurobioides maritima in Perseverance Harbour, Campbell Island.

Amaurobioides maritima has a dark brown abdomen and abdominal patterns. They live in permanent silk tubes that are generally tubular in form that are spun in the cracks of large boulders or cracks in rock outcrops. The tubes are 2.5 to 5 cm in length and are of a leathery consistence and are impervious to water for at full tide they are exposed to the spray of the South Pacific breakers. This splash zone is the area above the high tide mark. Some of the nests are then completely under water. At low tide the mouth is invariably open, and immediately in front of it there is often spun a short loose funnel-shaped snare. The spider lies in wait at the mouth of its nest for the crustaceans (isopods) to pass. In early summer the female lays an egg sac and attaches it to the inside of the tube retreat. She then seals the tubes entrance and remains inside until the spiderlings emerge from the sac, only then she opens the tube. Spiderlings live for a time with the female in her retreat,
The male spiders are slender and smaller than the females but exactly resembles them in colouration and markings. 
Males spend more time away from their retreats and travel much longer distances than females and, consequently, suffer higher mortality.
Amaurobioides maritima if disturbed while outside its nest it will hide underwater on the bottom of a pool till danger disappears. When it submerges air is trapped between its body hairs. Though it has this capability it does not hunt prey underwater.