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


Prowling spider (Uliodon spp)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Arthropoda 
Class:Arachnida 
Order:Araneae 
Section:Entelegynae 
Family: Zoropsidae
Species: Uliodon  about 20  New Zealand species
Common name: Vagrant spider, Prowling spider

Vagrant spider is a medium to large ground dwelling spider with a body  length 20 mm.
There are about 20  New Zealand species withonly three have been classified and named by scientists. It is forest spider but also found in gardens near bush areas It  lives under logs or stones in the daytime . They are active nocturnal hunter which builds a web as a retreat for use in the daytime and when moulting. The webbing is also used to bind the eggsac. These spiders feed on ground dwelling invertebrates. Despite their daytime concealment they are often captured by the large native spider hunting wasps. They can run very fast then they will suddenly freeze.
These spiders are capable of delivering a painful bite because they have very large fangs. However, the symptoms of the bite are quite mild and are described as similar to a normal reaction to a bee sting. The bite should be cleaned and watched for signs of infection. There is one recorded case of a person being bitten and he suffered pain, stiff joints and excessive perspiration.

A large vagrant spider.



A large female Vagrant spider climbing up a garden glove.


Male vagrant spider   They have longer legs and a slimmer body.

Male head. Note salmon pink palp 

Head of male vagrant spider with hairy palps 

Vagrant in a freeze position.