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Silver Orb Spider
by James

Introduction: The silver orb spider’s botanical name is leucage dromedaria. It gets its common name from its bright silver abdomen. It is a member of the suborder of spiders called araneomorphs. This means that the fangs have a side-to-side operation. It is the size of a 20c piece and it hangs upside down in its web.

Habitat: Silver orb spiders live Australia-wide and in the North Island of New Zealand. It builds its web close to the ground in grassy bush land areas.

Prey: Silver orb spiders eat flies, moths, bugs and beetles.

Web: The web of the silver orb spider is a circular spoked web with a tidy spiral. The New Zealand variety sends spokes to the ground but the Australian resident does not. The web hangs horizontally and the spider hangs in the centre underneath it. This makes the spider difficult for its predators to see because the underside of the spider is green-brown, the legs are light green and the head is dark green. From under the web, the spider is well camouflaged because the silver abdomen blends into the skyscape.

Breeding: After breeding, the female kills the male and eats it. The baby spiders stay at the edge of the web.

Venom: Silver orb spiders are not venomous! No bites have been recorded.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Brunet, B. 1998. ‘Spiderwatch A Guide to Australian Spiders’ New Holland Publishers, Sydney, pp 97.
Forster, Ray & Lyn, 1999. ‘Spiders Of New Zealand And Their Worldwide Kin’ University of Otago Press, P.O. Box 56/56, Union Street, Dunedin, New Zealand, pp 155-156.
Mascord, R. 1980 ‘Spiders Of Australia A Field Guide’ A.H. & A.W. Reed PTY LTD, 53 Myoora Road, Terry Hills, Sydney, pp 62-63.
Preston-Mafham, K., Marven, N. & Harvey, R. 1998. ‘Complete Guide – Bugs, Beetles, Spiders & Snakes’ Quinet Publishing Limited, 56 John Street, Leichhardt, NSW, pp 90.
Queensland Museum, 1993 ‘Leaflet No.46 Small Web-building and Bizarre Spiders’ Queensland Museum, P.O. Box 3300, South Brisbane.
Queensland Museum, 1995 ‘Wildlife of Greater Brisbane’ Queensland Museum, P.O.Box 3300 South Brisbane, pp 34.
1996 ‘Encarta 96 Encyclopedia
Microsoft

Information and pictures were taken from children's projects and where credited to that child does not claim to be original information. Where possible, permission to reproduce has been sought. Any infringement of copyright is purely unintentional.

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