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Australian Wildlife

  Garden Orb Weaver Spider (Eriophora sp)





Garden Orb Weaver Spider | Eriophora sp photo
Dinner time - a small grasshopper lands in the Garden Orb Weaver spider web.

Photograph copyright: ozwildlife - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Garden Orb Weaver Spider | Eriophora sp photo
Garden Orb Weaver with prey. She spins it round and round to wrap it up. When it has been subdued she sucks its juices out. The empty shell gets cut loose and drops to the ground..

Photograph copyright: ozwildlife - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Garden Orb Weaver Spider | Eriophora sp photo
There is quite a lot of colour variation in the Eriophora species. I'm not sure if this one is the same species as the others on this page. Compare the darker browns and blacks of this one with the reds and brows of the spider immediately below on this page, and the greys of the spider immediately above. Let me know if you know if these are the same or different species.

Photograph copyright: ozwildlife - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Garden Orb Weaver Spider | Eriophora sp photo
Garden Orb Weaver - small specimen less than 1cm in length. This one had a small web about 20cm in diameter

Photograph copyright: ozwildlife - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Garden Orb Weaver Spider | Eriophora sp photo
During the day these spiders hide in foliage or under branches at the top of one of the supporting threads of their webs. Near buildings they often hide under eaves or gutters during the day. After dark they come down and rebuild or repair their webs. Often they build a new web from scratch, but if the web from last night is in reasonable condition they sometimes reuse it.

Photograph copyright: ozwildlife - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Garden Orb Weaver Spider | Eriophora sp photo
Garden Orb Weaver. Check out the intricate pattern of the web

Photograph copyright: ozwildlife - all rights reserved. Used with permission.



SPIDER FACTS

Description
Garden Orb Weavers are stout, reddish-brown or grey spiders with triangular abdomen. The Garden Orb Weavers build large, strong, vertical orb webs. The web is usually built in the evenings and taken down again at dawn. The spider rests head-down in the centre of the web during darkness, waiting for prey. During the day, the spider rests under nearby branch or in nearby foliage with its legs drawn under the body.

Other Names
Garden Spider

Size
2 - 3 cm (female) or 1.5 - 2 cm (male) in body length

Habitat
Forest, woodland, gardens

Food
Flying insects including flies, beetles, moths, bugs, cicadas. When the insect lands in the web, the spider quickly moves to it and bites it. It then wraps it in silk before feeding on it. Feeding can last more than an hour if the prey is large.

Breeding
The female Garden Orb Weaver lays her eggs in late summer to autumn. The eggs are encased in a silken egg sac attached to foliage.

Range
eastern and southern Australia

Notes
Orb weavers are reluctant to bite. Symptoms may include mild local pain, numbness and swelling.



Classification
Class:Arachnida
Order:Araneomorphae
Family:Araneidae
Genus:Eriophora
Species:sp
Common Name:Garden Orb Weaver Spider

Relatives in same Genus
  Garden Orb Weaver Spider (E. transmarina)