Spiders

GARDEN ORB

This spider gets its name “orb weaver” from the round shape that it weaves its web into. It is common in the eastern and southern part of Australia, in gardens and woodlands. Their webs are usually built in the evening and taken down in the morning. The spider uses them to catch prey and is typically resting head down in the center of the web at night as it waits for prey.

It usually feeds on other insects such as flies and moths among other insects that may land on its web. It immobilizes the prey by biting it and wrapping it with silk all around to keep it from escaping. These spiders are mostly found hidden in foliage during the day with their legs drawn under their bodies. They eat flying insects such as beetles and bugs. They do not bite easily, but any bite from them can cause pain, numbness and swelling.

The female can grow to a maximum of 3cms in length and has a life span of 12 months. It lays eggs and encases them in silky cocoons. They hatch in autumn and the young ones are dispersed by ballooning to other areas where they build their own webs. The male can grow to lengths of up to 2 cm. They reddish brown or grey in color and have rough triangular stomachs with two humps toward the front. At times, they have a dorsal stripe that is white or brown in color edged with white.

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