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LONG-JAWED : Humped Silver Orb-weaver

Silver-orb

Humped Silver Orb-weaver

Nov 2017

Scientific name: Leucauge sp (probably L.dromedaria – this based on my location in South-eastern NSW)

When and where in yard: I thought this spider was rare in my yard but had to change my assessment when I realised that I wasn’t looking small enough. The two individuals I photographed in Spring 2017 had a body length (legs not incl) of around 14mm and their webs lay under a pergola and over the frog pond. In Autumn 2019 I found a few smaller individuals which were between low shrubs and trees – One was so small (<5mm) it was hard to focus camera.

Observation: Seen during day. Hanging upside-down in a flimsy but neat horizontal webs. I had to lie on the ground to get the photo of upper silver side of spider against the blue sky (top picture). I witnessed a small Leucauge spider (above left) catch and wrap its prey (unidentified flying insect) in a couple of seconds. I can only assume the tiny spider was a juvenile. Adult males of the species are smaller but only by around 2-4mm.

Fun Facts: The longer hairs (marked with arrow) on the back legs are indicative of the genus Leucauge. They are sensitive to air movement – helping to detect predators and prey.

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