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Stick Spiders by Stuart


Copyright 1998 by TC-Nature 

INTRODUCTION: The Stick spider is also known as the ogre-faced spider because it has two enormous round eyes like an ogre. Its scientific name is Deinopidae Dienopis. This spider looks like a small clump of twigs when it rests during the day. The female is about 25mm in body length and the male is about 12mm. It is a rusty brown colour with two humps halfway down the abdomen. This spider holds its legs in pairs so it looks like it only has four legs. The male is slender and has large palps.

HABITAT : The Stick spider lives in the warmer parts of USA, Central and South America, Africa and Australia. It can be found amongst bushes, shrubs and tall grass in cool locations along creeks and streams or among rock shelters. They can also be found in cities, in patches of tall grass or flowers at the bottom of gardens.

PREY: The Stick spider eats flies, butterflies, beetles, insects and sometimes each other. The Stick spider catches its prey at night because there are a lot of insects about and their eyes are good for night vision. It has developed a special way of catching prey.

Dangling just above ground it spins a sticky silk net that it holds between its front legs. With its enlarged eyes, which give it excellent vision, the spider sees prey approaching and throws the net over its victim. The captive becomes entangled and the spider then wraps it into a package. The spider bites the prey and then either eats it right away or hangs it up to be eaten later. A new net is needed for each catch.

BREEDING: Summer is the Stick spiders mating season. The male now has no interest in eating and spends all his time looking for a female. This is the most important task of his life. The female produces two to four egg sacs each containing 60 to 100 eggs. The egg sacs are 10mm in diameter and are yellow-brown in colour with tiny black spots. They hang from a plant of blade of grass. The female doesn't do any hunting during this stage and dies just before the spiderlings hatch. The spiderlings crawl out of a hole in the top of the sac. They are hardly ever seen because their camouflage is so good.

VENOM: Stick spiders can bite but they are harmless to humans. When the spider has caught its prey in its web and wrapped it into a package it then bites its prey paralysing it with its poisonous venom.


1. World Book Encyclopaedia
2. " The Silken Web" A natural history of Australian spiders. by Bert Simon-Brunet. A Reed Book. Chatswood NSW 1994.
3. Readers Digest Encyclopaedia of Australian Wildlife. 1st Edition. 1997 Sydney.

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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