Golden Orb Weaver Spider
Spinning her web.
Orb weaving spiders are found throughout Australia. Common Garden Orb Weavers are Eriophora biapicata and E. transmarina from eastern and southern Australia. A common Argiope is the St. Andrew's Cross Spider, A. keyserlingi of eastern Australia. Golden Orb Weavers are found in dry open forest and woodlands, coastal sand dune shrubland and mangrove habitats, with Nephila edulis and N. plumipes being the two species found in the Sydney region. The Humped or Silver Orb Weaver, Leucauge, is often found amongst understorey vegetation in moist forest and woodland habitats, including streamside and swampland vegetation.
All orb weaving spiders make suspended, sticky, wheel-shaped orb webs. Webs are placed in openings between trees and shrubs where insects are likely to fly.
The Garden Orb Weavers build large, strong, vertical orb webs. Generally, the spider constructs its web in the evenings and takes it down again at dawn. The spider rests head-down in the centre of the web, waiting for prey. During the day, the spider rests on nearby foliage with its legs drawn under the body. Birds such as honeyeaters are common predators of these spiders. Flying insects such as flies, beetles and bugs (including large prey like cicadas), are common prey. Butterflies and day-active moths are sometimes caught but are partially protected from web entrapment by the presence of scales on their wings - these scales can be shed and this may allow the insect to struggle free of the sticky web.
Maroochydore Qld. Australia.