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Bavia Simon, 1877


Bavia spp. are mainly found in the oriental region, some species extending into the Pacific and Australia regions. Australia has four species, Bavia aericeps, B. modesta, B. sexpunctata and B. valida. In some popular books Sandalodes superbus was wrongly listed as Bavia ludicra. Further information on the genus and described species can be found in Richardson and Żabka (2017) and Whyte and Anderson (2017).


In Australia Bavia spp. are very powerfully-built, medium to large-sized spiders, ranging in body size from 5 mm to 13 mm. The head, viewed from above, is rounded, widest behind the posterior lateral eyes. The carapace is low, with a flattened upper surface and tufts of setae on the gently-sloping rear. The abdomen is elongate-ovate. The legs are long, the first pair strongly built and larger than the others. The chelicerae have several retromarginal teeth (plurident) with two teeth opposite on the promargin. There are sometimes lateral protuberances on the maxillae of the male.

The male’s palp has a short, sharply-pointed and rather massive embolus arising from behind the distal edge of the tegulum which has a proximal lobe. The short, hooked, retro-lateral tibial apophysis points ventrally (away from the cymbium).

The female’s epigyne is covered by a distinct shield with a pair of slit-like openings connecting to the insemination ducts. The highly-convoluted insemination ducts and spermathecae are visible through the shield.


Bavia are reported to be prodigious jumpers hunting other spiders and living on foliage. Jackson and co-workers have described many aspects of the behaviour of Bavia aericeps.


Bavia spp. are known from northern and eastern Australia, from high rainfall to inland areas of Queensland, Northern Territory and New South Wales. Bavia aericeps and B. valida are both widespread outside Australia (Żabka 1988, Berry et al 1997).


Davies, V.T. & Żabka, M. 1989. Illustrated keys to the genera of jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) in Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 27, 189-266.

Hawkeswood, T.J. 2003. Spiders of Australia: An introduction to their classification, biology and distribution. Pensoft: Sofia.

Patoleta, B. & Żabka, M. 1999. Salticidae (Arachnida, Araneae) of islands off Australia. Journal of Arachnology 27, 229-235.

Richardson, B.J. & Żabka, M. 2017. Salticidae. Arachnida: Araneomorphae. Canberra, Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, at

Whyte, R. & Anderson, G. 2017. A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia. CSIRO Publishing: Clayton.

Żabka, M. 1988. Salticidae (Araneae) of Oriental, Australian and Pacific Regions, III. Annales Zoologici, Warszawa 41, 421-479.

* The information sheet should be interpreted in the context of the associated diagrams and photographs. Diagrams explaining anatomical terms can be found in the ‘Salticidae’ pictures at the beginning of the list of genera.