Orb Web Weaver
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Web building
Orange Orb Weaver
Green Orb Weaver
Black Orb Weaver
Bush Orb Weaver 
Sliver Lobed Spider 1
Sliver Lobed Spider 2
Brown-lobed Spider
Long Lobed Spider
Pan-web Spider


Jewel Spider - Austracantha minax  


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

Body length 12mm
Jewel Spiders are also known as Six Spined Spider, Christmas spiders and Spiny Spiders. They can be found in summer, around Christmas time in Brisbane. Their abdomen has bright yellow and white patterns on black back ground. There are six spines on their back.
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Jewel Spiders build vertical orb web about one to two meters about ground. The radius of their webs are denser then other spider's. It could be because of their short legs. They sit at the centre of their webs from day to night.
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On interesting thing about the web of this Jewel Spider is that the spider seems 'deliberately' make the support silk lines visible. Their orb webs are invisible, or hard to be seen, as most other spider webs. However, for the anchor threads which support their webs, there are many white dots on the silk, about 20mm apart. There is an advantages to the web because the large animals, such as human, will see those silk lines and not accentually walk into and destroy the web. 
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For this spider, when it sensed the danger, it will climb up to the top corner of the of the web. 
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Orb-web spiders do not like the fallen leaf attached on their web. This may affect their sense to the prey on web and also makes the web becomes noticeable. Above pictures show a leaf was just attached on the web of the Jewel Spider and it was removing it. It took the spider about three seconds to remove the leaf. 
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We found once the spider in complete dark brown colour. 

1. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - Queensland Museum 1995, p30.
2. Jewel or spiny spider - The Find-a-spider Guide for Australian Spiders, University of Southern Queensland, 2007.
3. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson 1969, p69 Gasteracantha minax.
4. Australian Spiders in colour - Ramon Mascord, Reed Books Pty Ltd, 1970, p90.

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Last updated: November 21, 2009.