St Andrews Cross Spider
The St Andrews Cross spider can be found across Australia and was named because of the silky bluish white cross pattern it creates on its web, similar to that of the St Andrews Cross on the flag of Scotland. It used to be believed that the cross pattern strengthened the web, however further research has discovered that the pattern on the web reflects ultraviolet light and attracts insects to the web.
- The Female is 10 – 16 mm in body length
- The male is 3-4mm in body length
- Females abdomen is banded silver, yellow, red and black with 2 yellow stripes below
- Sits with its legs in pairs
- The males are brown and cream coloured
- The web is a medium-sized orb
- The spiderlings are cream-coloured
- Can be found on Low shrubby vegetation both during the day and night
- Suburban gardens
- Rainforest margins
- Males build smaller webs close to the female
- Mating occurs in summer-autumn
- One or more males sit in the upper parts of the web
- The male constructs a mating thread within the web
- He attracts the female by vibrating the thread.
- The female suspends her pear-shaped egg sac in a network of threads
- She disguises the egg sac amongst leaves
- The egg sacs are often targeted from parasitic wasps and flies.
An Amazing Fact
When the St Andrew’s Cross Spider is threatened it responds either by dropping from the web or shaking it vigorously that both spider and centre silken cross become a blur which amazingly confuses the attacker.
The bite of the St Andrews Cross is of low risk to humans.