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Spider Photos - Golden Silk Orbweaver (Australia)

Here's some photos of  Golden Silk Orb Weavers.  In the US they call this nephila species Golden Silk Weavers and call the Black and Yellow Argiope a golden orb weaver, which is  a bit confusing. In Australia they are called just Golden Orb Weavers. Golden silk orb weavers were  moved from the Araneidae family (orbweavers) into the Tetragnathidae (longjawed orbweavers) a few years ago. Nephila clavipes is the only species in the Nephila genus that exists in the US.  The venom of the golden silk orb-weaver is powerful, but not lethal to humans. Its venom is a neurotoxin similar to that of the black widow; however, its venom is not nearly as powerful. Its bite can cause local pain and redness with blisters forming. This bite usually resolves within 24 hours except for the bite mark. As the genus possesses relatively strong chelicerae, the bite could leave a scar on hard tissue (such as fingers). They  are a great nuisance to people walking in the bush with their strong yellow sticky webs. The webs are made in open woods or edges of dense forest, usually attached to trees and low shrubs, although they may be in the tops of trees or between the wires of phone or electricity lines. Their prey consists of a wide variety of small to medium-sized flying insects, including flies, bees, wasps, and small moths and butterflies. N. clavipes (and many other Nephila species) are frequently victimized by Argyrodes, a genus of very small black-and-silver spiders that are kleptoparasitic. As many as a few dozen may infest a single Nephila web to feed from the host spider's captured prey. The frequent rebuilding or abandoning of webs by Nephila may be a tactic for controlling Argyrodes. Spiny orb-weaver spiders also inhabit the webs of Nephila in order to obtain food. Click here for a news article on and Aussie golden silk orb weaver eating a snake!!
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Unidentified Spiders 2014 Unidentified Spiders 2013 Unidentified Spiders 2012
Unidentified Spiders 2011 Unidentified Spiders 2010 Unidentified Spiders 2009 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2009 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2007 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2006 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2005 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2004 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2004 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2003
Unidentified Spiders 2002 Unidentified Spiders 2001  
Spiders in Amber Closeups Ant & Wasp Mimicking Spiders
Argiopes/St. Andrew's Cross Barn Funnel Weaving Spider Basilica  Spiders
Bird Dropping Spiders Black House Spiders Bolas Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders Candy Stripe Spiders Common House Spider
Crab Spiders Cyclosa Conica Daddy Long Legs
Daring Jumping Spiders Fishing Spiders Funnel Web (Aus)
Furrow Spider Garden Orb Weavers Giant House Spider
Golden Orb Weavers Grass spiders/Funnel Weavers Ground Spiders
Hacklemesh Weavers Hobo Spiders Huntsman Spiders
Jewelled Spiders Jumping Spiders Ladybird Spiders
Leaf Curling Spiders Long Jawed Orb Weavers Lynx Spiders
Marbled Orb Weavers Micarathena Mouse Spiders
Mygalomorphs Net casting Spider Nursery Web Spiders
Parson Spiders Pirate Spiders Pseudoscorpion
Purseweb Spider Red & Black Spiders Redback Spiders
Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spiders Running Crab Spiders Scorpion Spiders
Segestria Florentina Solfugids/Camel Spiders Southern House Spiders
Spider Tats Spitting Spiders Steatoda
Tailless Whip Scorpions Tarantulas Tengellid Spiders
Trapdoor Spiders

Two Spined Spiders

Venusta Orchard Spiders
Wandering Spiders White Tailed Spiders Widow Spiders
Wolf Spiders Woodlouse Hunters Yellow & Broad faced Sac Spiders
Zoropsis spinimana    
Golden Orb Weavers (Australia) Golden Orb Weavers (Africa)

Golden Orb Weavers (Other Places)

Nephila Clavipes (USA) (1)

Nephila Clavipes  (USA) (2)

 

Nephila edulis - Australia

Nephila edulis is a species of large spider of the Nephilidae family. It is referred to the common name edible golden silk spider or golden silk orb-weaver. It occurs widely in Australia, where it is found in both tropical and temperate regions, and in parts of New Guinea and New Caledonia. It has a large body size variability, females can reach a body length of about 23 millimetres, males about 6 mm. The cephalothorax is black with a white pattern on the back, and a yellow underside; the abdomen is grey to brown. The web is about 1 metre in diameter and protected on one or both sides by a strong "barrier" web. N. edulis breeds from February to May, and produces an average of 380 eggs. The species name edulis means "edible" in Latin. While it is not entirely clear why this particular species is considered edible, it is known that several Nephila species are considered a delicacy in New Guinea, where they are plucked by the legs from their webs and lightly roasted over an open fire. The species was first collected and named by Jacques Labillardiere, in Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de la Pérouse (1799), becoming the second Australian spider to described by a European naturalist. - Wikipedia
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Reply: This is a female golden silk orb weaver. glen

14 June, 2014:
Hi there - this spider is in our garden in Sydney, Australia - it's May here, autumn - any idea what it might be? Thanks! Bronwen Morgan (and Jim Conley)

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Reply: This is a female golden silk orb weaver. glen

21 March, 2014:
Hi just wondered if you can say what this was as my friend nearly stepped on it in australia today just intrested thanks for the help. Jason

 

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Reply: This is a female golden silk orb weavers. glen

8 September, 2012:
Hey I saw this spider at the A.J. Hacket bungy site north of Cairns and I can't find out what it is. Kind regards Stephan

Click for a larger view.

 

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Reply: This is a female golden silk orb weavers. glen

7 May, 2012:
Hi There Glen! I found this guy the other day (03 May 2012). I live in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Pretty cool huh! Cheers! Jo

Click for a larger view.

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Reply: This is a female golden silk orb weavers. glen

20 January, 2012:
Hello, I found your email on the Spiderzrule web page. I wonder if you can tell me what species this picture shows? I took the photoat the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary while visiting my daughter in Brisbane (I live in the US) Thanks Eva

Click for a larger view.

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Reply: These are female golden silk orb weavers. glen

29 April, 2011:
Hello, I found this in my balcony with a huge net, and they are both on one net. forget to take a picture before i catch it. It;s about 5CM long with the big one, and the small one is about 3cm. after i catch them, the large kill the small one, and the large one die after a few days. i tried to find some food for them like flys and aints. but the aint dies straght away just after 1 bite and it didnt eat it. wondering what kind of spider are they, if i saw them next tiem how should i keep them alive? Thanks!

Click for a larger view.

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29 April, 2011:
Dear Glen, I was with a tour group visiting Kakadu in March 2011 and took this picture of an orb spider right beside the trail. I believe it is nephila pilipes, both male and female. The female was larger than my hand! Love your website! Vicki

Click for a larger view.

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Reply: This is a golden silk orb weaver. Spiders are venomous, not poisonous and this one is venomous but not considered particularly harmful to us - glen

13 March, 2011:
Not sure what kind of a spider this is – maybe you can tell me and whether it’s poisonous or not. Thanks Regards Aletta

Click for a larger view.

  

 

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Reply: This is a golden silk orb weaver and she has a male beside her - glen

13 March, 2011:
Hi there, My friend took this picture of a spider on the Syndey coast. I've tried identifying it myself but can't get past St Andrew's or Tent spiders without getting stuck. I am sure I am completely wrong any way! I wanted to find out what it is so I can check if we have it in our Catalogue (Catalogue of Life). Thanks, Annie

Click for a larger view.

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13 March, 2011:
Hi Glen, I noticed this spider in my garden yesterday and a couple of people at work say it’s an orb spider, but it doesn’t really look like any of the pictures I could find. Could you please let me know what type of spider this is? It is about 6cm -10cm long, head to toe. I currently live in Yarrawonga, Victoria (Australia). Thank you. Cathryn

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13 March, 2011:
Hello Glen, I just returned from an amazing trip to Australia a few days ago and took a couple of photos of a spider I found at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Since it was just hanging out there and not in any exhibit I didn't know what kind of spider it was. If you could take a look at the attached pics to identify it I would really appreciate it. Thank you, Kristen

Click for a larger view.

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28 February, 2011:
Could you identify this spider and say it's it's poisonous to dogs?

Click for a larger view.

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28 February, 2011:
Could you identify this spider and say it's it's poisonous to dogs?

Click for a larger view.

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21 June, 2010:
I stumbled across your website on spiders when I was planning a trip up to the Northern Territory in Australia. I was looking for a website to give me a better look at the red back spider since I’ve been seeing then everywhere in the Adelaide Hills near where I just moved to (from the United States). Anyway, I took this picture of what I am pretty sure to be a female golden orb spider and thought you might like to have it. It was taken in the Flinders Ranges and I do remember the distinctive golden strands in its web. Sincerely, Celeste

Click for a larger view.

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21 June - Sadly my nephila has pased away but not before she laid another lot of eggs.

14 May, 2010:
Photos of  female nephila in Brisbane and her beautiful golden egg sac - glen

 

Click for a larger view.

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Reply: This is a golden silk orb weaver.

23 March, 2010
Hi, Do you know what this spider is? Was seen on Fraser Island, Australia. Many Thanks, Steve

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Reply: This is a golden silk orb weaver, very common in Australia, this is a great shot of the golden silk it makes. The smaller spider is probably the male - glen

16 October, 2009:
Hi Glen, I tried to identify this spider but cant! Would you be able to help me please? The 2 spiders (one with large abdomen or sack) shared a huge messy web. I live in Brisbane. Thanks! Gianna

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Reply: This is a golden a silk orb weaver.

17 May, 2009:
Hi Glen/Pro, I went to the Sydney Fish Market today, and saw a spider there, due to my camera problems, I believe it wouldn't be so easy to identify. As I have been browsing your website, I think it is from the orb weaver or that sort? First I thought it was a Brown Widow, but then I noticed that Brown Widows don't spin webs AND it did not have an hour glass shape, and it didn't have the right pattern. Thanks! Kay (10)

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21 December, 2007:
Hi, I am new to Australia from the UK and found this at the back of house in Perth WA. What is it please ?? Someone said it’s a huntsman but I have looked on the images on the web and cant see this spider anywhere,,,,Please confirm to me. Feel free to use photo on your site if you like, Thanks, B.
Click for a larger view.

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2 December, 2007:
These pics wre of a large spider of which I do not have the name for. As  you cn see it is a female with baby spiders around her. These were taken around June this year, I sent only the ones that were in focus. Many of
them were blurred and I took many of them from different angles. I'm in a couple taking shots from above the spider. Regards, Michael

Click for a larger view.

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30 September, 2007:
Hi there We live in Port Hedland, Western Australia.. this spider is actively building a large web at our front door. Could you please see if you know what type of Spider it is? Thanks George
 
 

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21 April, 2007:

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26 March, 2007:

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18 March, 2007:

G'day Glen, I was on the web checking out the identity of this rather large spider.I was out walking with my toddler and came across it .It's web spanned about 5 foot  near the path and was surprised to see spider hanging about, middle of the day,(don't they usually hide in the day)I found your site really useful to identify some other friends we have had at our house lately. countless Red-backs, Black house spiders the ever popular Huntsman, and two really hefty wolf spiders that must have had a body length of 1 1/2 inches(didn't manage to snap these before the ants devoured them) Do Red backs prey on Wolf spiders because the one was found curled up next  to ones hiding place.We haven't lived in Sydney that long (spiders aren't so scary in Wales,U.K.) Thanks again! Tracey Williams, Penrith, N.S.W

 

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25 April, 2006:

I Hello
I have attached a picture of a spider I photographed whilst on holiday in North Belmont, Newcastle NSW. I was told at the time it was a St Andrews cross , but I know think it is a type of orb weaver. I could only photograph the belly side as the web was on a house boundary, regards Adrian Day

Click for a larger view

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25 April, 2006:

I looked all through your web site but couldn’t find any reference to a spider we found today in the back yard catching and eating bees. Attached is an image, can you tell us what it is? Thanks Rab & Jo \

Click for a larger view

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11 March, 2006:
Hi Glen, attached a photo of a spider that my son Jack had a run in with, He rode his quad through the web, both spider and son shaken but ok, regards Shane, Perth, WA

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13 February, 2006:
Hi Glen I am righting to you from Colo in the lower blue mountains of New South Wales Australia I've been living here for two years and have not come across this spider before but for some reason this summer these spiders are hanging webs in-between trees and it not just one or two there's allot. Could you please identify this spider for me and give me a little background on it.  Thanks J C

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18 April, 2005:
Glen,
I took this close-up of a spider in the garden at Mulwala NSW (Yarrawonga VIC) from all indications it would appear that it is a "Tent spider". Am I correct?
Cheers,
Denis McNelly

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15 April, 2005:
Enclosed please find a photo of a spider, found on Central Coast (Gosford, NSW, Australia). The total length, including legs, is approx. 7 cm. Can you please identify, what type of spider it is?

Regards
Jana Rich

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14 April, 2005:
Hello
great site. I was wondering if you could help identify this spider for me. There are heaps of them around my house here on the central coast and they are quite large. Any ideas?

simon connor

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21 March, 2005:
Hi Glen,

I was wondering if you could assist me in identifying the spider I have included in attachment, which we came across yesterday afternoon while hiking a trail in South Eastern Australia..

Thanks in advance,
Sebastien

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23 February, 2005:
Hi,
This guy has set up camp under my pergola. Could you please tell me what sort he is and if at all I should worry about him being there.
Cheers,
Sue Cowmeadow
Allendale North South Aust.

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11 March 2004:
Hi Glen
I know that you said you don't identify spiders but I was hoping that you might have a guess at this one. I live in Perth, Western Australia. The spider is about 7 cm long. It's a pretty clear photo so I don't need to describe it! Just wondering if I need to get rid of it and if its harmful to pets and humans. Thanks heaps
I hope to get a reply from you!
Deb
Reply: Another a golden orb weaver.

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25 February, 2004:
Hello Glen
This beautiful spider lives in our back yard here in Griffith NSW. It's very docile, we think it's a member of the Orb family but not sure. Its body is about 3cm in length 1.5cm wide with very long legs that are very pointed.

What is it Glen? Can you help us?

Cheers
The Fitzpatrick
Griffith NSW

Reply: It looks like a golden orb weaver.

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16 December, 2003:
Just wondering if you would happen to know what type of spider this is.
Kind Regards
Hannah Lingley
www.ple.com.au <http://www.ple.com.au/>
hannah@ple.com.au

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26 March, 2003:
This spider lives outside our office door in Wollongong and has been steadily growing for the past couple of months. I've noticed that he likes to eat moths for breakfast, he has a new one every morning I arrive to work. His body would be about 40mm in length and about 100mm including his legs. Can anybody identify what he is?

Looks like a golden orb weaver.

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18 February, 2002
Hi there,
Here's a great pic of an awesome golden orb full of eggs. She has built her web near our clothes line. You can see how her web is made of golden strands. I had at first thought it was someone's blonde hair when I walked into her web. (sorry spidey!) Since I have visited your site I've learned a lot about spiders & how important they are to our environment, so I have encouraged her to stay in our yard and instructed all visitors not to knock down her web. My previously arachnaphobic husband has even learned to appreciate spiders and he took this photo. This spider now has a very insecure and small looking young male "husband" living with her in the web, as well as about eight bugs all wrapped up & ready for dinner when her babies are born. Karyn, Southport, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Hi kids, one last email from us for today!
This orb built her web near our poolshed & my arachnaphobic husband walked into it when he was out there at night to put chlorine in the pool. He wasn't real impressed, but as he has learned a lot about spiders from your site, he decided to talk to her...He made hand movements above his head and said "I don't want you to build your web here - no webs here OK!" and when we went out the next night she had built her web in the same place, but with an arch around where he had asked her not to build the web. Now he can go out to the pool shed and not get his head stuck in her web - and she can live happily where she likes it and there's plenty of bugs for her to catch & eat. I wonder if anyone else has similar stories?
~Karyn & Clint, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

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12 February, 2002

Hi,

I have just been looking through your spiders web site (fabulous).

Can you idenitfy the spider in the attached photo? This photo was taken in my Blue Mountains home recently. Would like to know what it is if possible??

Best Regards,
Greg Harper

 

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29 March, 2001 -

Here's some photos of a golden orb weaver sent in by Mark, a "a pommie tourist who's none too fond of eight-legged critters" .

To quote Mark: "That said I do find them fascinating, from a respectable distance of course. Interesting web site, keep it up!
Regards
Mark"

 

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9 March, 2001 -
A great site, interesting and informative. It inspired me to take a few close -ups of a spider enjoying breakfast. She's been in residence in a large web outside my bedroom window for the last month, keeping the local flies under control. I don't suppose anyone can identify her for me? The close-up photos were taken with a Pentax EI-2000 in macro mode, which seemed to work pretty well, seeing I was standing on a chair waving it about 2cm from the spider's nose at the time!
thanks,
Hugh Grady
Beechworth, Victoria
hugh_grady@yahoo.com

Click on each photo for a larger picture.

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20 April, 2001
Hello again! This is a picture of Spider City in our backyard - you can't really see it all from this photo, but 7 golden orbs have built a city between a palm tree and the pergola. Their webs are diagonal and parallel to each other so that the effect is of a giant bug- net. We thought that spiders were lone predators, and so we were surprised to see these ones living in a community. Each web is connected to another for support, the way the webs are built looks a bit like: \ \ \ \ from the side, except that each web behind is a bit higher than the one in front. It seems as thought they must have communicated with one another in some way to build this city - does anyone know more about this phenomenon? It is very interesting.
~Karyn & Clinton Durbin, Southport, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Nephila pilipes/maculata - Australia

Nephila pilipes is a species of golden orb-web spider and is also called Nephila maculata. It can be found in Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Papua New Guinea, and Northern Australia. It is commonly found in primary and secondary forests and gardens. Females are large and grow to a body size of 30-50mm, with males growing to 5–6 mm. The Nephila pilipes' web is vertical with a fine irregular mesh and not symmetrical, with the hub is usually nearer the top. Rather than egg sacks being hung in the web, a pit is dug which is then covered with plant debris or soil. The first, second and fourth pairs of legs of juvenile females have dense hairy brushes, but as the spider matures these brushes disappear.  Wikipedia
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31 January, 2011:
Hi, I took this pic a couple of days ago in a Townsville (Australia) park and I'm wondering just what the hell this spider is and hope you can identify it - the body sorta looks like a face. It was quite small, maybe 2cm overall ...

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11 July, 2010:
When in Australia I came across the spider shown in the photograph enclosed. Can you please identify as I cannot find a match Thank you TH

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28 June, 2010:
I live in Far North Queensland (Townsville) and we have found this spider in out garden, and we are wondering what kind it might be

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24/10/08:
BREAKING NEWS EXCLUSIVE:
The man who took the amazing photos of a spider eating a bird on the Tableland, west of Cairns, has been found. The images caused a media frenzy and sped around the world. A 75-year-old retired Tableland man, amateur photographer and bird enthusiast, took the pictures that sparked an international media frenzy yesterday in his Tableland back yard, near Cairns, last week. "It was an awful thing. The spider was just chewing into it's head," he told The Cairns Post.
"The spider's head was going up and down, and it was gouging into him (the chestnut-breasted manikin) at the top of his beak. It was still wrapping it up. "And then the spider just left it. It was like it was too big or something," the man said. Spider experts said yesterday the photographs showed the orb injecting venom into the stunned bird. But the photographer maintained that what he saw was a dead bird. The photos were originally sent around via an email and, when picked up by Cairns.com.au, the story travelled all the world via the internet. Cairns.com.au has received over 500,000 page views for the Spider Eating Bird story and photo gallery and have received comments from as far afield as Texas and New Jersey in America and from the UK. The story has obviously captured the world's imagination.
THIS amazing image of a mammoth spider devouring a bird was taken in the backyard of a property near Cairns. The image, which is being circulated via email worldwide, is real, according to wildlife experts, The Cairns Post reported. The photo, believed to have been taken earlier this week, shows the spider clenching its legs around a lifeless bird trapped in a web at a property near Atherton, west of Cairns. Joel Shakespeare, the head spider keeper at NSW's Australian Reptile Park, has told ninemsn the spider was a golden orb weaver. "Normally they prey on large insects, it's unusual to see one eating a bird," he said. Mr Shakepeare said he had seen golden orb weaver spiders as big as a human hand but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger. Mr Shakespeare told ninemsn the bird, a chestnut-breasted mannikin which appears frozen in an angel-like pose in the pictures, is likely to have flown into the web and got caught. "It wouldn't eat the whole bird," he said.
Photos copyright 75 year old man, stories Cairns Post & News.com.au
23 October, 2008:
Hello, Can you tell me what this? Do they occur in Western Australia? Amazing photo – it has my accounts staff terrified. Marc
Click for a larger view.

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15 June, 2008:
Could you please identify this little creature that I stumbled on the other day on Magnetic Island. Hopefully Geoff

Click for a larger view.

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11 August, 2006:
You may be interested in the attached – I believe it to be a Golden Orb which was taken when I was on a university field trip on Hinchinbrook Island , Far North Queensland in 2003. © Matthew Taverner  Size of web – well over a metre square. Approximate size of specimen was 5 inches in the vertical plane -maybe 3 inches across. Distance from my face was +/- 12 inches. Condition of model – anxious….  I was studying for a Masters in Ecologically Sustainable Tourism Planning at James Cook University . My thesis “ Dangerous Creatures and the Fear Factor – A study of Visitors perceptions towards threats from wildlife and the potential impacts on tourism activities in North Queensland”  Happy to share it with your readers with due acknowledgement.
Regards  Matthew

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25/04/01 - Here's an answer from Matthew Shaw at the Qld Museum about the spider below. Many thanks to them for replying to Fabio: "Your spider is one of the Golden orb weavers, in the case, Nephila pilipes. This species is especially large and spectacular and is well known from tropical north Queensland, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific. I have seen a small specimen as far south as Coffs Harbour but I doubt whether they would occur much further south than this. There is a report of this species laying her eggs in soil.
Are there any males in the web associated with her? Males are much smaller, about 6mm in body length, and will often be somewhere in her web and at other times even clambering on her body."

20 April, 2001 - Here's some photos of a spider perhaps our viewers can help to identify. Please email us if you can. Fabio has even included a little movie of his spider. Click here to view it. Click on each photo for a larger view.
"Hi, Just wondering if you knew the name of this spider. It's at our holiday house Boreen Point on the Sunshine Coast
Thanks Fabio"

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Reply: This is Nephila maculata

12 June, 2004:
Hi Everyone,
I thought you might be keen on seeing this rather interesting photo I  snapped whilst on holidays during Easter. I believe it’s a Nephila Maculata  (Golden Orb Weaver- tropical size!) that has just malted its exoskeleton. It  was absolutely huge! Body about 50mm and a leg span of about 200mm. If you  look carefully, you can see a couple of much smaller males hanging around. I
bumped into this lovely creature found it on my property which is situated in the mountains west of Sarina, Qld. The area is thickly forested and  absolutely teeming with large spiders representing many species.
Marcus Rowe
Mackay, Queensland

 

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