Invertebrate Cyrtophora hirta (tent web spider)

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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Scientific Name:Cyrtophora hirta

Other Names: dome spider.

Class: Arachnida

Order: Araneae

Sub-Order: Araneamorphae

Family: Araneidae (orb weavers)

Subfamily: Cyrtophorinae

Genus: Cyrtophora

Distribution: Most mainland states and PNG, not yet recorded from WA or Tas..

Habitat: Open woodlands and eucalypt forest.

Field Notes: Common in areas with low bushes. Webs between low shrubs or in sparsely leafed bushes. Spider makes a tent shaped shelter under its web, and a series of triplines under this. Spider sits at the middle f the tent, waiting for prey. Small areas may contain many small webs in spring, but survival of juvenile spiders is apparently low, and only a few webs enlarge by late summer. Waste is placed at the top of the tent dome. Bite is not recorded as producing serious illness. Males ~ 5mm, females 10 mm. Small spiders of other species are often found scavenging at the edges of the web.







actual spider to follow.
 

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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A particularly large example of a tent web.







These are very common and the populations can be quite dense, as revealed by this heavy fog. Most of these visible webs are from tent web spiders
 
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