Spiders > Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider | Female | Male

The female Australian Golden Orb Weaver is a spectacular spider, whose body size is variability, with a body length that can reach up to 40 millimetres in length and legs that extend from the body, with a span up to 10 centimetres.

The following is a young female, body size 1.5 centimetres from tip of the abdomen to the head, with the legs from top to bottom spanning 5 centimetres.

Young Female Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis), Larapinta / Alice Springs, NT
Young Female Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis), Larapinta / Alice Springs, NT

The cephalothorax (the fused head and thorax of the spider) is black with a white pattern on the back, and a yellow marking on the underside. The abdomen is grey to brown.

The web of this genus of spider Trichonephila usually contain a string of debris masses which are the remains of insects the spider has eaten and may be saving for later. This tendency to produce such a string is rare among orb weaver species and is a useful identification feature.

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

One of the disadvantages for the female of this species is that being large they are also considered an edible spider, not only by birds and other creatures, but also by certain indigenous people. In places like New Guinea, they are lightly roasted over an open fire before being eaten.

The abdomen of this large female Golden Orb Weaver Spider was approximately 2 centimetres in length.

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

A distinctive characteristic of the female Australian Golden Orb Weaver are the hairs that look like black brushes along the legs.

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

Whilst they are not gregarious, you will sometimes find several spiders of the Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spiders in the same area. This female was in a web less then a metre from the female spider shown above.

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

This female Australian Golden Orb Weaver has survived with seven legs.

You can see more images of the Golden Orb on our Birthday Waterhole Fauna page; our Golden Orb – Alice Springs Desert Park page and our Fauna Spiders section – Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider.

Also check out 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