Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday - Golden Orb Weaving Spider

This morning in my yard was this beautiful spider - and a few of his friends.

I think they're the Golden Orb Weaving Spider, some Orb Spider anyway :)

The Australian Museum website tells me this:

The females are 2 - 4 cm long, the males 5 mm.

In the Golden Orb Weaving Spider group, it is common for a number of tiny (6 mm) males to live around the edges of a female's web, waiting for a mating opportunity. After mating, the female Golden Orb Weaving Spider wraps her single egg sac in a mass of golden silk, which is then hidden on foliage away from the web, disguised within a curled leaf or sprig of twigs

They make a web between tree branches where insects might fly, and feed off what they catch. Prey items include flies, beetles, locusts, wood moths and cicadas. Sometimes their strong webs manage to trap small birds or bats, and the spider will wrap them and feed upon them (my spiders have not caught anything that huge!)

Although, in the Homebush Bay mangroves when I was younger, there used to be hundreds of webs thick through the trees at some times of the year (before Easter is what I'm thinking) and I imagine these huge groups of spiders would have caught bigger prey. I was always worried they'd catch me!!

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