2010-12-23 4-50-47 PM - IMG_0799 Tent spider [Cyrtophora mollucensis]
Cyrtophora mollucensis known as Tent Spider. The colourful abdominal markings of this spider make it reasonably easy to recognize although immature specimens do look rather different from adults. The mature male is very different from the female in appearance. This species is most common in eucalypt forests. On a large web strung between tree branches; this web is extensive and three-dimensional and may appear tent-like so this species is also called a tent spider; sometimes individual webs are virtually continuous, making this species appear colonial .
Came across this spider when I was mowing the lawn. First break in the rain for about three weeks, so the yard was looking a bit like a jungle. It had its "tent-like" web strung between branches in the macadamia tree (some of it is visible in the image). First one that I recall seeing in our yard. Had a leg span of about 6 cms.