ARANEIDAE - ENAMELLED BACK SPIDER

FACT FILE - 012

Family

Araneidae

Species

Plebs bradleyi
(Keyserling, 1887)

Body Length

female: 17mm
male: 6mm

Habitat

An orb built between bushes and grasses close to the ground.

Toxicity

Unknown, but considered not harmful to humans.

Click images to enlarge.

0121

Female. Normal colour pattern.

0129

Female.

0127

Female.

0128

Female.

Below are three colour variations found in a localised area near Hobart.

0122

Photo: ©Val Shelton-Bunn

0123

Photo: ©Val Shelton-Bunn

0124

Photo: ©Val Shelton-Bunn

0124

Orb web.

0126

Juvenile.

01210

Female. Ventral view.

Araneus bradleyi is somewhat unusual, even among the orb weavers, in that individual specimens can vary drastically in both the colour and the pattern of the top of their abdomens. Some are almost entirely green, some have a green strip along each edge but yellow, orange and white in the centre, and others have no green at all but instead have the 'typical' pattern of warm colours. No one seems to know why this happens. Ron Atkinson.