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: A Wild Australia Guide, by Patrick HonanSpiders: A Wild Australia Guide, by Patrick Honan.

96 pages. This is a smaller spider guide showing the most well known spiders and then a few more.

From the publisher, "Australia is home to more than 2000 known species of spiders - and it is estimated that four times that number actually exist in this country waiting to be discovered! Within the ranks of Australian spiders we find some of the most uniquely interesting and skilled creatures of the animal world, along with a few potentially-deadly species and even more harmless individuals with fearsome reputations. Love them or loathe them, spiders are a part of everyday life, and this Steve Parish WILD AUSTRALIA GUIDE provides an insight into the lives of some of these often-reclusive visitors to our gardens, homes and wild places. From how to identify them and where they live, to their unique skills and behaviours, this guide lets you get up close to some of the most common Australian spiders. Who knows? You may even find some of these fascinating creatures living right under your nose."

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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