Aname mainaeCommon name: Black wish-bone spider

Meaning of name: No one knows what the name “Aname” refers to as this name was coined in 1873 and the author did not give a meaning. On the other hand, the species, A. mainae, was named in honour of Barbara York Main, who studies spiders, especially trapdoor spiders.

Distribution: Found in the southwest of Western Australia. Also recorded in South Australia.

Description: The spiders we saw had body lengths of approximately 40 millimetres.

Notes: This spider is a type of trapdoor spider but doesn’t use a typical lid on its burrow. It constructs a flexible sock-like flap that the spider can pull down when it is not active.

Black wish-bone spiders rarely bite humans and no serious envenomations have been reported.

Wish-bone spiders are called such because of the design of their burrows. The burrows usually have two entrances but join together underground, forming a Y, or wish-bone, shape.

Watch a video of this spider, recorded in the Queens Park Regional Open Space, at

This spider has been seen in December, January, February and March.

References: Identification and information courtesy of Julianne Waldock, Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum

If you can help us fill in any of the details please contact us.