There are many different species of Tent Spiders in Australia. The
largest Tent Spider is 19mm long and is found in the northern parts of
Australia. The female has a grey head and a black body with white spots.
The tiny male Tent Spider has an orange body. The Latin name for the
Tent Spider is Cyrtophora spp.
The Dome Tent spider, (Cyrtophora moluccensis) is the largest spanning the width of a man's hand. The long body is strongly variable in colour with a broad black to rusty red stripe for most of the back and bright yellow and white spots along the edges.
The Russian Tent spider (Cyrtophora hirta) is a rarely seen small pale spider with an oval body usually hiding in the white cap at the top of the tent-like web.
Scoop web spiders (Cyrtophora exanthematica) have a brown long triangular body that is difficult to find among the cluster of dead leaves.
Tent Spider is found all over the north and east regions of Australia
and around some islands close to Ausralia's coastline. The Tent Spider
makes an orb web that looks like a tent. The spider makes its web
horizontally across the ground (which can reach anywhere up to 4 metres
in length) with the centre pulled vertical so the web is shaped like a
The Tent-web spiders, although technically orb-web spiders, do not build orb webs. Their tent-like, highly complex non-sticky web is sometimes considered a precursor of the simplified orb-web. The webs are always positioned in trees or in gardens with
suitable foliage. Inside the tent is another tent, if an insect flies in
the tent, the spider covers up the torn web to hide the insect from any
other prey. They are found in shaded warm areas - gardens, litter,
trees, walls and paths. This spider is most often seen in Summer, north
Coffs Harbour, NSW.
The Tent Spider eats
whatever flies into its web; flies, grasshoppers, butterflies and other
insects. The Tent Spider does not eat birds.
Breeding: The Tent Spider
has a green egg sac placed in the web. The spider makes four woolly
green egg sacs which are attached to the top of the web. The female dies
and she leaves her young alone to fend for themselves.
Venom: The venom has no
effect on humans, only to insects.
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