T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Orbweb spider (Three Lobed) Cyclosa trilobata

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Infraorder: Entelegynae
Superfamily: Araneoidea
Family: Araneidae
Genus: Cyclosa
Species: Cyclosa trilobata
Binominal name: Cyclosa trilobata
Synonym: Cyclosa insulana
Common names: Three Lobed Spider, Threelobed Spider, Three-lobed Cyclosa

Cyclosa trilobata is the only species of the orb-weaver genus Cyclosa that is native to New Zealand. It is also found in eastern Australia, Tasmania. The species Cyclosa insulana looks similar but does not occur in New Zealand.

Cyclosa trilobata are small spiders, the females are 9 mm long while the males are much smaller at 5 mm. The spider’s posterior end is distinctly tri-lobed.
Cyclosa trilobata exhibits a very wide range of individual variation in colour patterns, ranging from mottled patterns of reds and browns to greys and blacks. The small males are different in appearance when compared with the female and they are often quite silvery. 
They build a small circular orb web low shrubs, grasses and on fences. The centre of the web usually has several loops of silk that is coarser than the outer regions. There may be a string of insect debris stretched across the web.


Cyclosa trilobata on the stabilimentum. There is a vertical string of insect debris.