The Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis, also classified under the genus Nephila edulis) is a fairly large spider that has a wide range, being found throughout coastal, inland Australia and Western Australia.
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 about just 7 mm in length.
The cephalothorax (the fused head and thorax of a spider) is black with a white pattern on the back, and a yellow underside; the abdomen is grey to brown.
The web is often 1 metre in diameter and is protected on one or both sides of the web by a “barrier” web. The spider breeds between February to May, and can produce on average over 300 eggs.
Whilst the common name is Australian Golden Orb Weaver, it is also found in parts of New Guinea and New Caledonia.
The word edulis is an Latin word whose meaning relates to edible, eatable. French naturalist Jacques Labillardiere gave the name in 1799 after seeing the spiders roasted and eaten in New Caledonia. Other species of Nephila are also eaten in Thailand (where they are served raw and cooked), and in Papua and New Guinea (where they are fire-roasted).
- 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
- Aranea edulis
- Epeira edulis
- Nephila edulis
- Nephila imperatrix
- Nephila eremiana
Footnote & References
- Nephila edulis (Labillardière, 1799) Australian Golden Orb Weaver, Arachne.org.au, www.arachne.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=1654
- Golden orb-weaver, The Find-A-Spider Guide For The Spiders Of Southern Queensland, www.findaspider.org.au/find/spiders/116.htm
- The tasty spider by Tim Low, 8 August 2016, Australian Geographic, www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2016/08/the-tasty-spider/