Orb Weaving Spider
Orb Weaving Spider

Golden Orb Weaving Spiders are large spiders with silvery-grey bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. The males are tiny and red-brown to brown in colour.

Golden Orb Weaving Spiders are found in dry open forest and woodlands, coastal sand dune shrubland and mangroves and suburban gardens. There is a lage size difference between the males (5mm) and females 20 mm - 40 mm

Orb weaving spiders make suspended, sticky, wheel-shaped orb webs. Webs are placed in openings between trees and shrubs where insects are likely to fly. Golden orb weaving spiders prey items include flies, beetles, locusts, wood moths and cicadas. Sometimes their strong webs manage to trap small birds or bats, and the spider will wrap them and feed upon them.

The Golden Orb Weaving Spiders build large, semi-permanent orb webs. The strong silk has a golden sheen. These spiders remain in their webs day and night and gain some protection from bird attack by the presence of a 'barrier network' of threads on one or both sides of the orb web.

Like the St Andrew's Cross Spider, they will vibrate their webs to distract potential predators. Sometimes aggregations of Golden Orb Weavers are found, with a tangled network of overlapping webs.

In the Golden Orb Weaving Spider group, it is common for a number of tiny males to live around the edges of a female's web, waiting for a mating opportunity. After mating, the female Golden Orb Weaving Spider wraps her single egg sac in a mass of golden silk, which is then hidden on foliage away from the web, disguised within a curled leaf or sprig of twigs.

Orb weavers are reluctant to bite. Symptoms are usually negligible or mild local pain, numbness and swelling. Occasionally nausea and dizziness can occur after a bite. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist

Predators of orb weavers include several bird species and wasps of the family Sphecidae. The wasps land on the web, lure the spider to the perimeter by imitating a struggling insect's vibrations, and then carry the spider away to be paralysed and stored as live food for their young.