Orbweb spider (Garden) Eriophora pustulosa
Scientific name: Eriophora pustulosa
Common name: Garden orbweb spider
This spider is an Australian immigrant and is now one of the commonest orbweb spiders in New Zealand.
It is thought that this spider originally floated here in the jetstream from Australia. This species colour pattern varies enormously from white to black and yellow to orange and may be mottled in colour. This species can be recognised by five large knobs on its back. Two large ones are on the highest point of the back and three smaller ones at the end of its abdomen.
It is a small to medium sized spider with a body length up to 12 mm. It is a maker of the classic circular webs. At night they sit in the centre of the web waiting for any flying insects that are caught in the web. When the insect is trapped it wraps the prey in silk to reduce struggling, and then eats it at leisure.
A typical orb web spider will construct or repair its snare by night, then sit in the centre. This central portion of the web is dry, but the spiral of silk a little further out from the centre is sticky. This is the part of the web that actually traps prey.
By day, the spider usually hides outside the web, but will rest a leg on a thread that runs to the centre. This allows the spider to remain out of sight of predators while still being aware of any prey that gets caught in the web.
Orbweb spider Eriophora pustulosa hanging upside down in her orb web
The underside of a