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Argiope mascordi

Fact Box
Species:
Argiope mascordi
(Identification by H. Levi)
Family:
Araneidae
formerly Argiopidae
Body length:
female: 10 mm
male: only 4 mm(?)
Habitat:
For a 'typical' Argiope species the female rests on the underside of the web, which contains an X-shaped stabilimentum; an A. mascordi web may be similar
Toxicity:
Unknown, but this is a timid spider that is not aggressive towards humans but should still be handled with caution
Argiope mascordi
Click to enlarge
Another view

The original description of Argiope mascordi is in the following paper: Levi HW (1983) "The orb-weaver genera Argiope, Gea and Neogea from the western Pacific region (Araneae: Araneidae, Argiopinae)" Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 150 247-338. The description and drawings of A. mascordi provided in this paper are a good match for the spider shown in the photos on this page. However, it is a curious fact that the spider in the above photos was actually found in the Border Ranges that lie between Southern Queensland and Northern NSW whereas Levi stated that Argiope mascordi is a North Queensland species. Clearly, its range is much wider than was originally thought.

The distinctive characteristic of this species is an oval abdomen with a dorsal 'shield' mark that is not seen on any other Argiope species known to be present in Australia. Reliable information about the web this species builds and the manner in which the spider rests on it is not readily found but on page 165 of the 2014 book "A Guide to the Spiders of Australia" by Framenau et al (New Holland publishers) is a photo of Argiope mascordi resting on a suspended web with an X-shaped stabilimentum in it and this is a common feature of the webs of Argiope species.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: None although the habitats and webs of other Argiope species have much in common with that of A. mascordi.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 5 September 2018.