Renae Woodhams's picture

Renae Woodhams
Sat, 12/20/2014 - 08:18 post

Christmas spider
#12daysofWAMXmas 

When was the last time you saw a Christmas spider in the garden?

These festive spiders are commonly found all over Australia, including Tasmania.

Christmas Spiders (Austracantha minax) are lovely little spiders that belong to the orb-weaving spider family Araneidae, and like their relative build delicate orb-webs which are rather sticky.

Their prey consists of small flying insects which they consume in their webs after wrapping them in silk and injecting them with venom.

The adult females are less than 1 cm in length, and have several pointed spines on their abdomen, with brightly coloured patches of white, orange and blue. The males are much smaller than the females, and are more uniformly coloured.

Christmas Spiders are most easily observed during spring and summer, with the adult females maturing at this time. They often congregate in large numbers, and are less common in urban settings than in past decades, probably due to insecticides and lack of suitable habitat. However, they are still common in bushland habitats. #revealingthemuseum

Jean Halse's picture

Jean Halse
Mon, 01/12/2015 - 11:44

I have one of these delightful little spiders near my front door, it has been there since the beginning of December and has made fascinating watching.  The web is amazing.  Last year we had one in the same spot and also in the back garden.  We live in Falcon, south of Mandurah.

Jean Halse

 

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Renae Woodhams's picture

Renae Woodhams
Mon, 01/12/2015 - 11:53

That is awesome Jean, thanks for sharing.  We live in metro Perth and used to see them all time in the garden but not so much any more.

Great to hear you have one near your door - what a lovely Christmas visitor!

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Sam Jackson's picture

Sam Jackson
Wed, 04/29/2015 - 10:48

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Kate Jones's picture

Kate Jones
Sat, 11/21/2015 - 20:32

We have a beautiful one growing In The garden for the last four weeks..Madora bay Mandurah.

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