Orb Web Weaver
Scientific Facts
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


Pan-web Spider - Cyrtophora exanthematica


This page contains pictures and information about Pan-web Spiders that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Leg to leg 15mm
The Pan-web Spiders are pale brown to dark grey in colour. We easily found this spider in Brisbane Botanic Gardens. The spider builds web similar to Tent Spiders but with inverted shape. Instead of tent-shaped web, This spider's webs are in pan shape. So we call them Pan-web Spiders.
wpe1C.jpg (57591 bytes) wpe15.jpg (30694 bytes) PC9_0855.jpg (132457 bytes)
The spiders build pan-shaped webs in permanent site. Their webs are about 0.5m in diameter built among plants horizontally. There are many supporting silk on the top of the web to discourage prey or intruders enter from the top. In day and night the spiders hang at the middle of the web, waiting for prey. 
wpe1A.jpg (30760 bytes) PC9_0853.jpg (145130 bytes)
Because the web is horizontally built and is permanent (not re-build everyday like some other spiders, there are many plant materials fall on to the web. The spiders spend quite a lot of time on cleaning their web. Usually they do the cleaning at night. They remove the small dirt, cut and drop the larger items. Then repair every part of the web to almost perfect. They seldom rebuild their webs. 
DSC_0733.jpg (92068 bytes) DSC_0736.jpg (69048 bytes) DSC_0668.jpg (143178 bytes)
As most other web weaving spiders, the Pan-web Spiders are very shy. They will run to their retreat even a very minor disturb. Not like the Tent Spider with retreat at the web centre, the Pan-web Spider retreat is some where near the edge of the web. Once they are hiding, because of their camouflaged colour, they are hard to be found. They may stay in their retreat for hours. 
DSC_0512.jpg (88408 bytes) DSC_0515.jpg (119173 bytes) DSC_0665.jpg (152069 bytes)
The spider leaves some fallen dry plant materials on the web which enhance the camouflage. Usually they rest at the centre of the web waiting for prey. When they feel any threat, they run to the edge of the web and sit next to those plant materials.  
wpe18.jpg (28684 bytes)  wpe1.jpg (25514 bytes)
Mid summer is their reproduction season. females make the egg-sac in their retreat. The egg sac is a olive-shaped silken ball. After the spider makes the egg sac, it 24hrs guard the egg-sac. In this period, the spider does not come back to the web centre and do not feed until their offspring hatch. It takes about two to three weeks. After the spiderlings hatched, the mother spiders return to their web. The spiderlings will remain in the retreat for a few weeks. 
DSC_0996.jpg (125524 bytes) DSC_0999.jpg (197997 bytes)

1. Cyrtophora exanthematica - The Find-a-spider Guide for Australian Spiders, University of Southern Queensland, 2007.
2. Spiders of Australia: An Introduction to Their Classification, Biology & Distribution - Hawkeswood T, Pensoft Pub, 2003, p119. 

Back to top. 

Up ] Tent Spider ] Russian Tent Spider ] [ Pan-web Spider ]


Download large pictures in our Wallpaper web page.  Give us comments in our Guest Book, or send email to us. A great way to support us is to buy a CD from us. 
Last updated: November 13, 2009.