The Mouse Spider
Missulena is a genus of spiders in the mygalomorph family Actinopodidae, sometimes called mouse spiders. As of 2016 there are 17 known species in this genus, all but one of which are indigenous to Australia. Both male and female Mouse spiders have very large fangs and fang bases. Mouse spiders are aggressive spiders and will bite if provoked. However, only several of the species have been found to produce serious symptoms similar to those by the Funnel Web spider.
Mouse spiders are found in east coastal and highland regions of Australia. Like trapdoor spiders, the mouse spider lives in burrows in the ground, often in the banks of rivers, creeks and other waterways, but is also found in suburban gardens. The burrows are built with double or single trapdoors and the entrance is oval shaped. The females tend to remain in or near their burrows throughout their lives. Males can be found wandering during early winter, especially after rain.
Insects are the main prey of mouse spiders but their diet could possibly include small vertebrates and other spiders.
Males reach sexually maturity at about 4 years of age. They leave their burrows during the breeding season to find a mate. They go looking for a female during the day and the mating usually takes place in the females burrow.
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