The Two Spined spider (Poecilopachys Australasia) is a
nocturnal spider. It is an immigrant from Australia and have been recorded in New Zealand since the early 1970s.
Description: The female Poecilopachys Australasia is about 8 mm in length and when mature has two white horn-like ‘spines. Yellow and white bands and some red-brown markings are visible. Large body hairs on an adult female gradually disappear as she approaches maturity.
The male is much smaller (2.5 mm - 3 mm in length) and looks very
different. . Adult males lack the pair of large abdominal spurs and the
bright colours that characterize the adult females. They look so different
that they were first thought to be a different species.
Despite their conspicuous colours, they are seldom seen as they usually hide under leaves during the day. At night they emerge and spin a horizontal orb web to catch night-flying insects such as moths. In the morning they eat their web completely and settle down to hide for the day. The Two-spined Spider is one of the few spiders that can change colour quickly, perhaps to confuse potential predators.
Habitat: The two spined spider is found in gardens on shrubs, often on citrus trees. By day, the spider will hide under leaves, emerging at night to construct a cart wheel-shaped web.
Prey: Despite the small
size of the two spined spider, it is capable of capturing moths and
other insects several times its own size.
This species only forms a small orb web at night and is not often noticed during the daylight hours as it rests underneath green leaves. It makes a small orb web during the night and may also be found guarding a small brown spindle-shaped, papery egg sac.
The egg sac of the two spined spider is spindle shaped.
Venom: Two spined
spiders are regarded as harmless to humans. The toxicity of the venom of this spider towards humans is unknown but it is a small, non-aggressive spider and thus is most unlikely to cause significant harm.
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