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Ordgarius magnificus

Ordgarius magnificus

The Magnificent spider (Ordgarius magnificus) is a bolas spider in the family Araneidae. It is endemic to forests along the Australian east coast.

Description

Females are up to 14mm long and almost as wide; males reach only 2mm. Females are creamy-white with a pattern of pink and yellow spots on the abdomen, and a crown of white and reddish tubercles on the head.

Habits

They live in trees or tall shrubs, rarely less than 2m above the ground. The easiest way to find them is to search for clusters of large, brown egg-sacs suspended among foliage; the spider will be found nearby, at day sheltering in a retreat made from rolled leaves and silk.

Like all bolas spiders, the female attracts male moths with an airborne pheromone. Once a moth approaches, the spider senses it coming due to vibration sensitive hairs on its outstretched legs. It is then caught with a sticky globule that is flung at the prey.

The egg-sacs are up to 89cm long; one spider produces up to nine sacs per season, each with several hundred eggs.

See also

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