Tag Archives: Araneae

Dunn’s Peacock Spider – Maratus pavonis: 1 – A Little Male a-Roving!

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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)
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Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider, (Male)

Maratus pavonis aka Dunn’s Peacock Spider
Male
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Salticidae
Subfamily: Euophryinae
Mount Barker, South Australia – Longleat Property – October 17th, 2014 – on a warm, sunny day in the flower garden

Photos: Michal Dutkiewicz
Text: Michal Dutkiewicz & extra additions by Karin Dawson

When Karin Dawson invited me up to photograph Feather-legged Assassin Bugs (As featured on a David Attenborough documentary) and this Peacock Spider, I still couldn’t believe that we had one of these colourful Spiders here in South Australia! – There are a number of species of the Peacock Jumpies in Australia. They are members of the Jumping Spider family Salticidae, and this is, as far as Karin and I can ascertain, the only species that occurs here in South Australia.

Only the males are brightly-coloured. The species occurs from South Australia around the southern east coast of Australia, including Tasmania, and there is a slightly brighter variant with a slightly different abdomen from Western Australia that Jumpies fans from those parts might want to keep a look out for. I wish we could have gotten closer shots, but he was moving very quickly …

Karin observed the female to be about 8 mm long, and the male was only 4 mm long; a big discrepancy in size, but certainly not unusual in the the spider world.

http://www.arachne.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=2446
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maratus

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Nephila edulis: 2 – Tiny Satellite Male

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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male dwarfed by the female
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, male (just visible) dwarfed by the female

Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver
Male and Female
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Nephilidae
Dulwich garden – April 24th, 2014 – sunny, pleasant conditions

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Photos & Test: Michal Dutkiewicz
Many species of spiders show sexual dimorphism of this degree. The male stays over the other side of the web, and only zips over quickly to mate – He stays nearby though, usually on that other side, near her rear end, often hiding in the clutter of hollowed-out body parts of various parts of insects – I accidentally took some shots featuring the male. I thought I was looking at a blurry shot of the female until I saw the male in the foreground, and I then rushed outside when I noticed I had captured a shot of the male and took more and better shots – Photographing the Nephila was something I would do about once or twice a week – The male and female don’t even look like the same species!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephila_edulis

Nephila edulis: 1 – Female and Nest

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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest
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Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver, tending her nest

Nephila edulis aka Golden Silk Orb Weaver
Female and nest
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Nephilidae
Dulwich garden – April 24th, 2014 – sunny, pleasant conditions

Photos & Test: Michal Dutkiewicz

Usually, I would see this female Orb Weaver in the centre of her nest, but was surprised one afternoon to come out and see she wasn’t in that position. After a moment of concerned searching, I saw her on a nearby branch, above and to one side of the web, making final touches to a yellowish, matted nest of spider silk and various forms of organic litter. Since then, the web was interfered with by someone, and she disappeared, but I am hoping some of the young have survived.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephila_edulis

Eriophora transmarina – The Australian Orb Weaver Spider (?)

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Eriophora transmarina aka Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Australian Garden Orb Weaver Spider
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Eriophora transmarina aka Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Australian Garden Orb Weaver Spider
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Eriophora transmarina aka Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Australian Garden Orb Weaver Spider

Eriophora transmarina aka Common Garden Orb Weaver Spider, Australian Garden Orb Weaver Spider (?)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
My Garden, Adelaide, South Australia –

Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz

I found this spider in a Cullen australasicum, a native pea bush on the side of the road between the towns of Keyneton and Sedan in the Murraylands. I am not absolutely certain if this is another version of this species – There are so many! Each of us have many Australian Orb Weavers in our gardens – They are abundant! They have many different patterns and colours – As far as I know, these are not separate subspecies, but adaptations individuals make to camouflage themselves – I don’t know the mechanism by which this is achieved, but with each new moult, they can change their colour and pattern to blend in with their surroundings of the site they rest on during the day. Like other orb weavers, they industriously spin their new web every night and take up a position in its centre – They are not considered harmful to humans, but we all know the feeling of walking into one of these webs!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_garden_orb_weaver_spider

Green Orb-Weaver Spider

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Eriophora circulissparsus aka Araneus circulissparsus
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Eriophora circulissparsus aka Araneus circulissparsus
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Eriophora circulissparsus aka Araneus circulissparsus
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Eriophora circulissparsus aka Araneus circulissparsus

Eriophora circulissparsus aka Araneus circulissparsus
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
Mount Barker (Longleat Property) – December 15th, 2014

Photos & Text: Karin Dawson

Of the 30 spider genera in Australia, Eriphora is the largest with 110 recorded species. This genus comprises the Orb Weavers, which construct distinctive wheel-shaped webs at dusk. None of the Eriphora are venomous to humans.

Eriophora circulissparsus (formerly Araneus circulissparsus) is a pretty light green orb weaver with a yellow abdomen, beautifully patterned with red and green markings. This is a nocturnal species, and not often seen. I have encountered E. circulissparsus three times in my garden over the last several months. The first two sightings were during the day, and the spiders were resting amongst daisy flowers and leaves. The third sighting was at sunset, where the spider was hard at work constructing her web.

E. circulissparsus is a relatively small species, with the female averaging 5 – 7 mm in diameter, though each of my three individuals measured 8 – 10 mm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriophora

Austracantha minax – A Spiderly Seasons Greeting

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Austracantha minax aka Christmas Spider or Jewel Spider
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Austracantha minax aka Christmas Spider, Jewel Spider

Austracantha minax aka Christmas Spider, Jewel Spider, Six-spined Spider, Spiny Spider
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
Mount Barker (Longleat Property), South Australia – December 9th, 2014 – in garden

Photos & Text: Karin Dawson
Austracantha minax (commonly known as the Christmas Spider – also Jewel Spider, Six-spined Spider or Spiny Spider) is a particularly colourful species of orb weaver endemic to Australia, and can be found all over the continent. Formerly Gasteracantha minax, this beautiful spider is most abundant during the summer months leading up to Christmas – hence its name.

These very timid spiders are relatively small – the females grow up to 12 mm, males only 5 mm. These heavily armoured spiders are a shiny black with variable white, yellow and orange patterns, and six distinctive spines protruding their abdomen.

These social spiders can be found in large communal aggregations of overlapping orb webs, and unlike other orb weavers, they do not destroy their webs at dawn.

Interestingly, any female Austracantha minax born later in the summer season is completely black (melanic) though they are the same shape are their colourful counterparts. The reason for this is unknown.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austracantha_minax