Varied owing to the wide distribution range.
The burrows built by the big inland Red-headed Mouse spiders are large, silk-lined burrows that vary from 20 cm to 55 cm deep and are widest in the entrance and bottom chamber areas. A side chamber extends off the main burrow shaft, usually closed by a trapdoor. It provides a refuge from predators and a safe place for the egg sac and spiderlings.
The burrow’s most unusual feature are the two surface trapdoors set almost at right angles to each other. The silk and soil trapdoors often merge well with the ground, making them hard to see (and increasing the impression of scattered rather than aggregated burrow sites, making accurate estimates of their abundance difficult). They may be thin and wafer-like or thick and plug-like. Having two doors probably increases both prey catching area and efficiency. A few silk triplines may extend outwards from the entrances. These can help alert the spider to approaching prey or male spiders and also help with surface navigation while hunting.
Little is known about the burrows of other species. The forest dwelling Eastern Mouse Spider appears to have a single, flap-like door and a shallow burrow with a side chamber. Unlike other species, this mouse spider has occasionally been reported living in large aggregations. Recently, almost 300 specimens were collected from the backyard of a house on the central coast of New South Wales after flooding rains drove the animals from their burrows.
The males are often encountered when they wander searching for females from late summer until April-May. They often fall into suburban swimming pools.
Feeding and diet
Insects are the main prey of mouse spiders but their diet could possibly include small vertebrates and other spiders. Prey is usually ambushed from within the safety of the trapdoor ‘hides’, but mouse spiders have been observed foraging outside the burrow at night. With their powerful jaws and venom, they can tackle prey ranging from ants, beetles and spiders to small lizards and frogs.
The chelicerae, with the fangs at the end, are the jaws of the spider. As with all modern spiders the mouse spiders jaws move in and out sideways rather than the straight up and down movement of the ancient group of spiders.
Males reach sexually maturity at about 4 years of age. They leave their burrows during the breeding season to find a mate. The mating usually takes place in the females burrow
Most male mygalomorph spiders wander by night in search of females during their mating season. This is to avoid both day-active predators and excessive heat and water loss.
However, the males of several mouse spider species can be seen wandering about by day during the late summer to early winter months (especially after rain).
These daytime wanderers are unique in having distinctive body colour patterns.
Eastern Mouse Spider males () from eastern Australia have a blue/white patch on the front of the abdomen.
In from northern Australia, this patch is yellowish-cream and spreads over much of the abdomen. These spiders live in open forest habitats where their pale blue and yellow/cream patches may help them blend in with the dappled shading of the forest floor, perhaps making them difficult for predators to see.
Most arresting are the males of the Red-headed Mouse Spider () which ranges across semi-arid Australia. These males have a bright reddish-orange head and jaw region and the abdomen has a gunmetal blue tinge. In open woodland and shrubland habitats this pattern may act as both warning and disruptive colouration, deterring some predators and avoiding others by blending in with the sharply shadowed soil and litter background.
By contrast, little is known about the wandering behaviour of some small, forest dwelling mouse spider species that are entirely black in colour.
While wandering, male mouse spiders hold their long pedipalps (carrying the mating organs) extended forwards, presumably seeking an airborne scent (pheromone) associated with the female or its burrow. Once the burrow vicinity is reached the male taps the ground and silk around the doors until the female emerges. If she is receptive the male follows her into the burrow where mating occurs.
Danger to humans
Some mouse spiders have a very toxic venom which is potentially as dangerous as that of the Sydney Funnel-web Spider. However, few cases of serious envenomation have been reported. Unlike funnel-web spiders, the mouse spider is believed to use less venom and possibly even “dry bite”.
Although the males are often sighted, bites by Red-headed Mouse Spiders are rare, probably because the spiders occur in less densely populated areas.
Because of their potential toxicity to humans, first aid treatment should be provided as recommended for funnel-web spider envenomation. Fortunately, funnel-web spider antivenom has proven effective in cases of mouse spider bite.
Mouse food for spider
Hard to source insects so I had to feed her a mouse as it was time to eat. Gotta do what you have to do to feed the pets. She is a 12 year old Rose hair. Don’t forget to Subscribe! Also leave your comments on what you liked, did not like, would like to see in the future. I read all the comments and will do my best to reply to any questions. Keep in mind if you are ugly or trolling I will likely give a reply of equal troll value, so just try being nice! I know it’s hard when your on YouTube but you can do it! I believe in you! 🙂