Alice Springs Desert Park

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The Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis, was previously classified under the genus Nephila edulis) is a fairly large spider that can be found throughout Australia, from coast to inland.

As you walk around the Alice Springs Desert Park, keep your eyes peeled for the many spiders that live throughout the park, among which are the Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider.

Female Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis), Alice Springs Desert Park, NT
Female Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis), Alice Springs Desert Park, NT

With a large variable body size, it is the female of the species whose body can reach up to 40 mm length, whilst the male of the species is between 5 to 7 mm in length.

Male Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis), Alice Springs Desert Park, NT
Male Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis), Alice Springs Desert Park, NT

This extreme size difference between the male and female of the same species is called “sexual dimorphism”. You can see the difference in the following images. In some of the images there are two male Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spiders. Please note the size difference between the males.

The female spider have a dark-brown carapace (the “head”), a cream coloured abdomen, and yellow or reddish-brown banded legs. The males are often very small, and live on the same web as the female, although often outside of the reach of the female. There can often be more then one male spider on the web at a time. The web often have a gold glint to them in the sunlight.

Whilst out exploring the Alice Springs Desert Park, keep your eyes out for the insects that can be found throughout the park.

You can see more images of the Golden Orb on our Birthday Waterhole Fauna page and our Fauna section on SpidersAustralian Golden Orb Weaver Spider.

Read our blog… A tangled web…



  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Genus: Trichonephila
  • Species: T. edulis
  • Binomial name: Trichonephila edulis
  • Synonyms:
    • Aranea edulis
    • Epeira edulis
    • Nephila edulis
    • Nephila imperatrix
    • Nephila eremiana