The St Andrew’s Cross Spider’s Latin name is Argiope kiyserlingi. The female’s size is about 20mm long and its cephalothorax is flattened and covered in white or silver hairs. It also has a banded and spotted abdomen in a white, yellow, red and black pattern The male is about 4 mm long and has a brown body (pic below).
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In Australia, the St Andrew’s Cross Spider lives in the eastern part and New Guinea; and is also found in other countries. The adult female makes an orb web with an X shape (St Andrew’s Cross) in the middle.
She then hangs her head down with her legs together in pairs over the cross. These spiders are active both day and night and build their webs in and near small shrubs and against walls.
The St Andrew’s Cross spiders feed on flying insects that get caught in their X shaped web.
The female spider’s eggs are laid in a silk sac usually hung among leaves near to the web. The young spiders are light brown and at first they make webs with a lacy disc in the middle. As they get older, they add a cross to the disc and when they are adults, they only make the cross.
The St Andrew’s Cross Spider doesn’t have dangerous venom. Its bite causes a mild local pain. If disturbed, the St Andrew’s Cross Spider shakes her web vigorously or may drop to the ground.
Click here for more photos of Argiope Spiders.
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