St Andrew's Cross Spider - Argiope keyserlingi

St Andrew's Cross Spider

Argiope keyserlingi

Family: Argiopinae (St Andrew's Cross Spiders and their allies). Some of the other species in this family are also called St. Andrews Cross spiders, however Argiope keyserlingi seems to be the most well known, and it builds the zigzag cross out of web which looks like an extension of its legs from a distance.
Size: Male body 6 mm, female body to 20 mm
Distribution: Warm regions, especially tropical coastal areas of Australia.
Habitat: It makes a flat orb-shaped web usually about 1-2 metres above the ground. They like to be close to waterways where there are more insects.
References: Brunet. Whyte and Anderson. Wikipedia

This well-known spider sits in its web in an "X" shaped cross. It's perhaps the first spider I remember seeing in the garden when I was quite young. According to tradition, Saint Andrew was martyred (executed) on an X-shaped cross, rather than the usual lower-case "t" shaped cross used for crucifixion.

Predators: Mantids (e.g. the preying mantis) and birds.

Note that dead spiders usually fade in colour, so nearly all the spiders will look blacker or darker in colour in real life than they do in the photos of dead spiders from the museum.

St Andrew's Cross Spider - Argiope keyserlingi
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney. High Resolution 3579 x 2725.

St Andrew's Cross Spider - Argiope keyserlingi
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney.

St Andrew's Cross Spider - Argiope keyserlingi
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney. High Resolution 4056 x 2580.

St Andrew's Cross Spider - Argiope keyserlingi
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney.

Recommended Reading

A Guide to the Spiders of Australia, by Volker W. Framenau, Barbara C. Baehr, and Paul ZborowskiA Guide to the Spiders of Australia, by Volker W. Framenau, Barbara C. Baehr, and Paul Zborowski.

This is a great field guide to Australian spiders. It's a toss up between this one and Spiderwatch for my second favourite spider field guide. This one is a lot different to Spiderwatch. It's got more than twice the number of pages. It's got much better photos. It comes with a soft clear plastic cover protecting the usual soft cover. On the other side of the argument, it's got no index other than an index of family names (i.e. no index of actual spider names, not their common names and not their scientific names). Which makes it hard to find things in it, if you don't know what family they are in. Also it's based on families and not individual spider species. It's still a wonderful book though.

From the publisher, "This definitive guide to the subject, written by three experts in the field, offers a window into a fascinating world. Notorious species such as the Redback and the Sydney Funnel-web sit alongside less wellknown but equally intriguing spiders such as the ant-mimics and net-casting spiders. The introduction covers spider structure, evolution, reproduction, silk and venom, together with peculiarities of the family within an Australian context. The two main sections of the book deal with Trapdoor Spiders and Modern Spiders, and within each section there is a chapter on each of the 80 or so spider families that occur in Australia. Each is illustrated with beautiful photographs of the subjects, with more than 30 images per family for some of the larger groups such as the jumping spiders, and many rare images never before published. "

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

See Also

Return to Australian Spiders
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St Andrew's Cross Spider - Argiope keyserlingi

Australian Spiders

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