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 Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, by Robert Whyte and Greg AndersonA Field Guide to Spiders of Australia, by Robert Whyte and Greg Anderson.

This is my favourite field guide to Australian spiders. It has a proper index. It has amazing photographs. If I had to find a weak point of it, it would be that there are so many photos that there is less writing than there could have been. I like photos though so it's all good. 464 pages.

From the publisher, "A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia uses photographs of live animals to enable identification of commonly encountered spiders to the family level and, in some cases, to genus and species. Featuring over 1300 colour photographs, it is the most comprehensive account of Australian spiders ever published. With more than two-thirds of Australian spiders yet to be scientifically described, this book sets the scene for future explorations of our extraordinary Australian fauna."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

See Also

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

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