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St. Andrews Cross (Argiope keyserlingi)

The St. Andrews Cross, a non-aggressive spider endemic to Australia, gets its name from the particular cross pattern observed in their web. The pattern is similar to the cross on which St. Andrews was crucified.

Scientific Classification

St. Andrews Cross Spider

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Females are 0.39-0.62 in (1-1.6 cm) and males are 0.11-0.15 in (0.3-0.4 cm).

Color: Females’ carapaces are yellow and gray with black and red bands, while the upper part of the having two yellow horizontal stripes. Males differ in coloration of the body as they are a combination of cream and brown with the same longitudinal stripes.

Other Characteristic Features: The spiders’ legs are paired when they sit.

St. Andrews Cross Spider Male

Eggs

Post mating, the female spider lays 400-1,000 eggs in a sac and places it (the sac) on the web. Hatching occurs in autumn.

St. Andrews Cross Spider Egg

Spiderlings

Spiderlings overwinter in the sac and come out in the following spring.

St. Andrews Cross Spiderlings

The Web

Female spiders build orb webs, sizing 1.4-1.9 in, and the highlighting point is the X-shaped motif in the middle, made with two
stabilimentum lines. Sometimes juveniles may create spiral patterns. It takes nearly a day for completing a single web.

The web attracts the prey as the UV rays reflect in the silk threads and makes the web bright and conspicuous against its background.

St. Andrews Cross Spider Web

Are St. Andrews Cross Spiders Poisonous

The bite of this spider is not toxic or harmful to humans.

St. Andrews Cross Spider Female

Quick Facts

Also Known as Crucifix spider
Distribution Northern Queensland to central regions of New South Wales
Habitat Open forests, shrubby vegetations, rainforests, and houses
Web Type Orb-web
Diet Beetles, butterflies, moths and flies
Lifespan 1 year
Predators Birds and praying mantises
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed
St. Andrews Cross Spider Image

Did You Know

  • The spider sits on its web as its legs are aligned with the specific pattern for a larger appearance.
  • Multiple males often cohabit with a female in her web.
  • The scientific name is given after the famous arachnologist, Eugen von Keyserling.

The St. Andrews Cross, a non-aggressive spider endemic to Australia, gets its name from the particular cross pattern observed in their web. The pattern is similar to the cross on which St. Andrews was crucified.

St. Andrews Cross Spider

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Females are 0.39-0.62 in (1-1.6 cm) and males are 0.11-0.15 in (0.3-0.4 cm).

Color: Females’ carapaces are yellow and gray with black and red bands, while the upper part of the having two yellow horizontal stripes. Males differ in coloration of the body as they are a combination of cream and brown with the same longitudinal stripes.

Other Characteristic Features: The spiders’ legs are paired when they sit.

St. Andrews Cross Spider Male

Eggs

Post mating, the female spider lays 400-1,000 eggs in a sac and places it (the sac) on the web. Hatching occurs in autumn.

St. Andrews Cross Spider Egg

Spiderlings

Spiderlings overwinter in the sac and come out in the following spring.

St. Andrews Cross Spiderlings

The Web

Female spiders build orb webs, sizing 1.4-1.9 in, and the highlighting point is the X-shaped motif in the middle, made with two
stabilimentum lines. Sometimes juveniles may create spiral patterns. It takes nearly a day for completing a single web.

The web attracts the prey as the UV rays reflect in the silk threads and makes the web bright and conspicuous against its background.

St. Andrews Cross Spider Web

Are St. Andrews Cross Spiders Poisonous

The bite of this spider is not toxic or harmful to humans.

St. Andrews Cross Spider Female

Quick Facts

Also Known as Crucifix spider
Distribution Northern Queensland to central regions of New South Wales
Habitat Open forests, shrubby vegetations, rainforests, and houses
Web Type Orb-web
Diet Beetles, butterflies, moths and flies
Lifespan 1 year
Predators Birds and praying mantises
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed
St. Andrews Cross Spider Image

Did You Know

  • The spider sits on its web as its legs are aligned with the specific pattern for a larger appearance.
  • Multiple males often cohabit with a female in her web.
  • The scientific name is given after the famous arachnologist, Eugen von Keyserling.

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