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Leaf Rolling Spider - Araneus dimidiatus 


This page contains pictures and information about Leaf Rolling Spiders that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Body length 12mm
The Leaf Rolling Spider has the orange brown thorax and legs with greyish-white abdomen. It builds the same type of web and similar retreat as the Leaf Curling Spider. However, this spider is less common than the other one. 
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We saw a Flower Beetle flied into and get caught by a spider net. A spider came out from a dry leaf retreat and warp the beetle by its silk. 
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The dry leaf retreat was just like a retreat made by a Leaf Curling Spider. However, the spider look quite different and we knew it was not the Leaf Curling Spider. We checked that it was a Araneus dimidiatus
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This spider built web very similar to the Curl Leaf Spider's web which is a half circuit web with opening at the top. At the top centre there was a retreat made by rolling a dry leaf to form a cylinder tube. 
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This spider make the retreat even longer and tighter rolled together than the Leaf Curling Spider
If the spider did not come out, it was quite difficult to tell if the nest and retreat were built by which spider.  

Male and female 

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On Nov 2009 in Carbrook Wetland, we saw a spider half exposed at the entrance of a leaf-rolled retreat. We came to have a closer look, the spider tried to move inside but there was something pushing the spider out. We carefully inspected the retreat and found that there was a bigger size female pushing the smaller size male out of the retreat. 
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We wanted to make sure how the larger spider look like and we used a dry grass to carefully forced the female out of the retreat.  
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After we took a few photos, the female went back into the retreat and the male still half stuck outside.

1. Araneus dimidiatus - The Find-a-spider Guide for Australian Spiders, University of Southern Queensland, 2007.
2. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson 1969, p66. 

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Last updated: November 09, 2009.