There has not been much research done on the invertebrates present on the Island. Keep an eye on the ‘Research’ page for updates.
The katipo spider is an iconic, but threatened member of this country’s unique fauna. It is a New Zealand native who is closely related to the Australian Redback. It is found in the North and South Island but is classified as being in “serious decline” owing to changes in its habitat brought about by the introduction of exotic plants, as well as the reclamation of dunes for development, agriculture or recreation. The katipo spider is a coastal sand dune specialist, and is mostly found on the dunes of warm sandy beaches. It can be found at the base of dune grasses, in prostrate shrubs or under driftwood or other beach debris. The katipo is a small to medium sized spider (body length about 8mm) and makes a small sticky web to snare beetles and other crawling insects. The bite is poisonous, but however only the adult females are capable of biting humans and the spider is non-aggressive by nature so bites are very uncommon (the antidote is available in hospitals!)
Katipo seem to have a very narrow habitat range and it is essential we recognise, protect and restore such habitat and associated wildlife. This spider has been found out at the ocean beach on our Island, if anyone ever sees one of these, please give us a call.