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

Spiders of Australia: Australian Green Guides, by Terence LindseySpiders of Australia: Australian Green Guides, by Terence Lindsey.

This is a smaller one at 96 pages. From the publisher, "The Australian Green Guides have been created for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages. The most commonly asked questions are answered with particular emphasis on fascinating behavioural insights into both common and unusual creatures. The pages are alive with entertaining and informative text accompanied by exciting action photography."

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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