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St. Andrews Cross

Fact Box
Species:
Argiope keyserlingi (QM)
Previous species name:
Argiope aetheria
Family:
Araneidae
formerly Argiopidae
Body length:
female: 14 mm
male: 5 mm
Habitat:
This spider builds a roughly circular web between the branches of small shrubs and typically clings to the underside of this web 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
Toxicity:
This spider is rather timid and non-aggressive and is assumed to be virtually harmless to humans; it is very common yet very few human bitings by it are on record
Argiope keyserlingi
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Stabilimentum
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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

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.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Argiope picta and Argiope magnifica.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 9 March 2009.