The Find-a-Spider Guide

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St. Andrews Cross

Fact Box
Argiope keyserlingi (QM)
Previous species name:
Argiope aetherea
formerly Argiopidae
Body length:
female: 14 mm
male: 5 mm
This spider clings to the underside of a roughly circular web between the branches of small shrubs with a pair of legs on each arm of a white cross of silk in the centre of the web; the male usually builds a small web close to that of the female
This spider is rather timid and non-aggressive and seems to be harmless to humans in that it is very common yet very few human bitings by it are on record
Argiope keyserlingi
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Egg sac, spiderlings
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Underneath female
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Male and female
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The male
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Juvenile and web
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The common name of this species is derived from its habit of producing and resting on a stabilimentum, which is a cross of serrated (zigzag) silk. In one season an adult female will produce several leaf-like, green egg sacs, these being attached to a wall or tree trunk in close proximity to the web.

Males lack the bright colours of the females and are much smaller. Juveniles are also pale and reside on very small circular webs which can often be found in quite large numbers.

Known Range: Argiope keyserlingi is found all over Eastern Australia but probably not in Tasmania. It may even be found in some drier inland areas of the country.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Argiope picta and Argiope magnifica.
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Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 2 January 2022.