Orb Web Weaving Spiders

Garden Orb Weaving Spiders: Eriophora

Banded Orb Weaving Spiders:Argiope

Golden Orb Weaving Spiders: Nephila

Article author: Bruce Gow

Distribution:

The Orb Weaving spider species are spread out across all of Australia. The Common Garden Orb Weavers are E. biapicata and transmarina from the eastern and southern Australia. A common member of the Argiope is the St. Andrew’s Cross Spider, A. Keyserlingii, of eastern Aus.

Identification and Habits:

All of the Orb Weaving species create webs that are suspended, very sticky and in the shape of a wheel. The common Garden Orb Weaver measures between 1 and 2.5CM in body length. The majority of this species are quite stout in shape and have a brownish-red pattern on their abdominal area which is generally in a triangular shape. Their webs are found within the openings between trees and shrubbery as this is the most likely place for insects to be caught. Transverse abdominal banding is an identifying characteristic of many Banded Orb Weavers. Of these some, such as the A. Keyserlingii (with a body between 1-1.5 cm), are known to create thick zigzag patterns within the silk of their webs as these may attract their insect pray as it reflects UV light. Their webs are also commonly places amongst shrubbery or within long grass.

Golden Orb Weaving spiders are quite large (their bodies range between 2-3 cm) and they have silvery-grey bodies with long banded legs. They construct their webs quite which end up quite large they’ve also been known to create a ‘barrier network’ of threads. Their silk throws off a golden sheen.

Note: The male of the orb weaving species is often smaller than the female.

Bite:

Orb Weavers are reluctant to bite, the symptoms of a bite is generally negligible though there might be some local pain accompanied by slight swelling and numbness. Occasionally there are signs of dizziness and nausea.

First Aid Procedures:

Seek out medical assistance if you find that the symptoms persist.

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