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Cyrtophora crassipes?

Fact Box
Cyrtophora crassipes?
(or a closely related species; see notes below)
formerly Argiopidae
Body length:
female: 6-8 mm
male: 3.5-5.0 mm
In a complex web strung between the branches of shrubs with an overall shape somewhat similar to that of several other Cyrtophora species
Unknown; may cause mild illness but rarely bites humans
Cyrtophora crassipes?
Click to enlarge
Female in its web
Click to enlarge
Another view

The identity of this spider is uncertain although it has the overall appearance of a Cyrtophora species and especially Cyrtophora exanthematica. Its surface markings are a good match for those of a spider presented as Cyrtophora crassipes in the 2017 book A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, written by Robert Whyte and Greg Anderson. This spider was first described (as Epeira crassipes) by Rainbow in 1897 and his drawing of it is at least similar to the spider shown on this page and in the book by Whyte and Anderson. However, Ramon Mascord in his 1970 Australian Spiders in Colour booklet included a photo labelled Cyrtophora crassipes but which had abdominal markings very different from those present on the spider on this page, although the dark abdominal 'shoulder' patches are a match. The same is true of a Cyrtophora crassipes photograph placed on the internet by Adam Parsons. These differences as well as the ones that can be seen in the images shown above suggest that this species either is actually a complex of species or is quite variable in its colour scheme. Since all three photos presented on this page are of specimens found in the same general location the latter explanation seems the more likely one.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Cyrtophora exanthematica.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 23 January 2018