Wildlife Photography: St Andrew's Cross Spider



Argiope keyserlingi is a common species of orb-web spider found on the east coast of Australia, from central New South Wales to southern Queensland. It is very similar in appearance to the closely related north Queensland species, Argiope aetherea. A. keyserlingi is commonly found in large populations in suburban parks and gardens, particularly amongst the leaves of Lomadra longifolia. Like many species of orb-web spider, A. keyserlingi shows considerable sexual size dimorphism, with the females being many times larger than the males. Mature females can be seen during the summer months and it is not uncommon to see multiple males on the web of one female.


This spider is commonly known as the St Andrew's Cross spider, due to the construction of bands of silk forming the arms of an X-shaped cross, similar to the one upon which St. Andrew is traditionally said to have been crucified. Termed web decorations or stabilimenta, these bands are thought to increase prey capture in this species, however, in other species they have been found to protect the spider against predators.

A. keyserlingi is an important model species in studies of spider ecology and behaviour. Using this species scientists have investigated sperm competition, sexual size dimorphism, cryptic female choice, the role of pheromones in mating behaviour and the function and evolution of web decorations.
Its main predators in Sydney are mantids and birds. ~Wikipedia


12 comments:

  1. I definitely don't like spiders but these photos are incredible.

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  2. Spiders are ugly, but are beautiful in pictures.

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  3. Such a beautiful variety and fabulous captures! Thanks so much for joining the Crazy Days of Summer Photo Challenge!

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  4. Wow! What a colorful spider! Yikes.

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  5. Great shots, but in my personal opinion ish. I am not a fan of the spiders, I had a bad experience one time with a brown recluse.

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  6. Wow, interesting critter... dropping by for MM.


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  7. Most interesting! I didn't know they wove things like that into their webs for increasing prey capture, or for defence. Great spider shots, too. :)

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  8. Great spider shots!! Don't know that I could do those.

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  9. I dont like spiders, but your shots :)

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  10. Cool spider! Such a pretty butt! Did I just say that? lol

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  11. Nice shots.

    Regards and I wish you all the best

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