Mouse spider

Mouse spider Introduction

Missulena bradleyi, also known as the eastern mouse spider, is a species of spider belonging to the family Actinopodidae. The spider is endemic to the eastern coast of Australia. The common name of the mouse spider is derived from the mistaken belief that this spider excavates a deep mouse-like burrow. Females are black overall and are larger than the males. The males are black with a bluish-white patch on the front of their abdomen. Mouse spiders are medium-to-large spiders which range in length from 1 cm to 3 cm. Their carapace is glossy, and they have high, broad heads, with eyes spread out across the front of the head. They have short spinnerets, located in the rear of the abdomen. 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.

Keywords to learn

Vertebrate: an animal with a spinal cord surrounded by cartilage or bone. The word comes from vertebrae, the bones that make up the spine

About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Miles the Mouse spider and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @

Key Data

  • Order:
  • Lifespan:
    2 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific Name:
    missulena bradleyi.
  • Mass:
    Not documented.
  • Length:
    1 cm to 3 cm.
  • Region found:
  • Population Status:
    Not evaluated.
  • Current population trend:
  • Diet:
  • Sexual maturity:
    4 years.


The mouse spider is a small but super venomous spider. So if your ever in Australia, or you live there, beware of the mouse spider !


Now that you know more about the Mouse spider by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.



Download questions about the Mouse spider here: Mouse spider (answers are on this page)


Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on spiders . Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets



Mouse Spider Facts for Kids

  • # 1. Males reach sexual 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.
  • # 2. Eastern mouse spiders are often mistaken for Australian funnel-web spiders.
  • # 3.Common symptoms of eastern mouse spider bites are numbness and tingling at the bite site, sweating headache, and nausea generally.
  • # 4. Most bites documented in the medical literature did not require use of antivenom or involve serious symptoms. Their venom has been found to have toxins similar to the robustoxin found in Australian funnel-web spider venom, and Australian funnel-web spider antivenom has been found to be effective in treating severe mouse spider bites.
  • # 5. Compared to the Australian funnel-web spider, however, the eastern mouse spider is far less aggressive towards humans, and may often give “dry” bites.

Q&A Corner

# 1. Where does the mouse spider get its name?


# 2. What other spider is the mouse spider often mistaken for?


# 3. What is the average length of a mouse spider?


# 4. What age do mouse spiders sexually mature?


# 5. Name two symptoms of a bite from a mouse spider?


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