Tag Archives: Karin Dawson

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

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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

Leafhoppers In A Mount Barker Garden: 3

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Psammotettix lividellus aka Grey Leafhopper (?)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Infraorder: Cicadomorpha
Superfamily: Membracoidea
Family: Cicadellidae
Mount Barker – November 27th, 2014 – on garden plants on private property of mixed and native species

This may not be a native species – If the ID needs revision, please let me know

Leafhoppers In a Mount Barker Garden: 1

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Orosius orientalis aka Common Brown Leafhopper
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha
Superfamily: Membracoidea
Family: Cicadellidae
Subfamily: Deltocephalinae
Mount Barker – November 27th, 2014 – on garden plants on private property of mixed and native species

This species is one of the most widespread and common Leafhoppers in Australia – It spreads many diseases to commercial crops and causes much commercial damage as a result – This specimen was very small, about 2mm long!

A Delicate Damsel Bug Is An Effective Predator

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Nabis capsiformis aka Pale Damsel Bug (?)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Heteroptera
Family: Nabidae
Mount Barker – November 24th, 2014 – on garden plants on private property of mixed and native species

Photos: Karin Dawson

This group resemble Assassin Bugs, but are smaller and more slender. They are predators and keep their rostrum, a segmented, proboscis-like mouth with a long tube, under their body, and extend it to spear prey and suck out their innards like a milkshake through a straw – Many species hold their prey like Mantids – This species may be an introduced one.

Please notify me if the ID is inaccurate.