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webs and egg sacs
Cyrtophora hirta (RM)|
( Note: Cyrtophora parnasia has a very similar appearance)
female: 10 mm|
male: 5 mm
On a web with a central retreat shaped like an inverted cone with a lacy lower edge and suspended by a less uniform, tangled web
Unknown but the venom of this spider may cause mild illness
The inverted cone-shaped tent which this spider uses as a retreat, a nursery, and a garbage dump, is distinctive. This species is common in eucalypt forests but also in
suburban backyard gardens in south-east Queensland and where present at all is likely to be found as large numbers of individual webs quite close to each other. A curious
characteristic of this species appears to be that in spring and early summer large numbers of small webs can be found but most of these are soon empty, presumably because
the spiders fail to grow to adulthood or perhaps because they contained males which had gone off in search of a female to mate with.
The male is quite unlike the female in appearance but the fact that the ones shown on this page were photographed on the outside of a female's web is convincing evidence
that they are indeed Cyrtophora hirta males since they clearly are males and the males of other kinds of spiders would never be attracted to a female C. hirta's web.
Known Range: This species is common in near-coastal bush and garden settings in Queensland and NSW but could have an even wider range.
Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some Araneus species.
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Last updated 2 January 2022.