The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Enamel spider

Fact Box
Species:
Plebs bradleyi (VF)
(formerly Araneus bradleyi)
Family:
Araneidae
(formerly Argiopidae)
Body length:
female: up to 17 mm
male: about 6 mm
Habitat:
This species builds a small orb web among the leaves of shrubs or tall grasses, reasonably close to the ground. The female of this species is said to be most active at night, tending to hide in a leafy retreat during the daylight hours
Toxicity:
Although it is a reasonably large spider this species is not significantly aggressive towards humans and is not known to have venom that can seriously harmed a human
Plebs bradleyi
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Underside of spider
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The green version
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In a leafy retreat
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'Two tone' specimen
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Another green one
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Also 'two tone'

The bright colours and smooth upper surfaces of this spider have led to it being given the common name of the enamel (or enamelled) spider. Most specimens have abdominal surface markings that are a mixture of pink, orange/brown and khaki colours plus white, but a less common colour scheme is an almost uniform blue-green colour and occasionally this colour is just a fringe around the more typical colour scheme, producing a 'two-tone' effect.

Note that the web built by this spider typically has a stabilimentum stripe (a thin band of white silk) diagonally across its centre. This is also seen on the webs of some other araneid spiders, and particularly on the web of Argiope species such as the St. Andrews Cross spider, Argiope keyserlingi, where it forms an X figure. However, Araneus bradleyi normally builds only one half of the X.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: A variety of other Araneus and Eriophora species.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 9 October 2014.