Spiders are one of the largest orders of the class Arachnida, which also includes the scorpions (Scorpiones), pseudo- or bookscorpions (pseudoscorpiones), havestmen (Opiliones), a variety of orders of mites and ticks (Acari).
Spiders can be recognised by a body consisting of two major parts, the cephalothorax (or prosoma) and the abdomen (or opisthosoma). They are the only group of animals with spinnerets at the back of their abdomen and in which males use modified, secondary organs, the pedipalps, to transfer sperm to the female. The morphology of the male pedipalps and the female copulatory organ, the epigyne, are crucial for identification, specifically at the species level.
There are approximately 4,000 species of spiders described from Australia, but this represents probably only about 25% of the total fauna. Framenau (2022) provides a checklist of all described species of Australia (download at the bottom of this page).
Raven and Beard (2022) provide an interactive key to the subfamilies of spiders in Australia.
Actinopodidae (Mouse Spiders)
Anamidae (Open-hole Trapdoor Spiders)
Araneidae (Orb-weaving Spiders)
Barychelidae (Brush-footed Trapdoor Spiders)
Cheiracanthiidae (Slender-legged Sac Spiders)
Clubionidae (Sac Spiders)
Corinnidae (Swift Spiders)
Deinopidae (Net-casting Spiders)
Desidae (House Spiders and allies)
Dictynidae (Heckle-mesh Weavers)
Gnaphosidae (Ground Spiders)
Halonoproctidae (Cork-lid Trapdoor Spiders)
Hersiliidae (Long-spinneret Bark Spiders)
Idiopidae (Spiny Trapdoor Spiders, Armoured Spiders)
Lamponidae (White-tailed Spiders)
Lycosidae (Wolf Spiders)
Miturgidae (Prowling Spiders)
Oxyopidae (Lynx Spiders)
Philodromidae (Running Crab Spiders)
Salticidae (Jumping Spiders)
Scytodidae (Spitting Spiders)
Segestriidae (Tube-web Spiders)
Sparassidae (Huntsmen Spiders)
Theridiidae (Comb-footed Spiders)
Trachycosmidae (Flat and Spineless Ground Spiders)
Zodariidae (Ant-eating Spiders)
Raven RJ, Beard JJ (2022): Key to the spiders subfamilies of Australia. Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water & Australian Biological Resources Study, WEB