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Eriophora pustulosa (Walckenaer, 1841) Knobbled Orbweaver

An extremely widespread, medium-sized orbweaver across most of southern Australia and nearby places including New Zealand where it is one of the most commonly seen spiders. Its pattern varies enormously in colour from greys, black, white, browns and oranges, often mottled. It has several obvious knobs on its back, or upper surface of the abdomen, usually five at the rear end near the spinnerets. At night it rests in the centre of its web waiting for flying insects to be caught. When insects hit the web the spider moves rapidly to wrap them in silk. It may subdue some prey with a bite. By day, if the web is left intact, it usually hides outside the web, with a leg resting on a thread that runs to the centre, otherwise it may dismantle the web and build it again each night. Its egg sac is oval, about 15mm x 10mm, brown and woolly with green tufts. The eggs are around 1mm in diameter. The name pustulosa means knobbled. Molecular analysis by Framnenau et al 2010 strongly suggests E. pustulosa is not congeneric with Eriophora in the strict sense but instead belongs to a new and unnamed genus also containing the Australian Araneus inquietus (Keyserling, 1887), Araneus sydneyicus (Keyserling, 1887), Araneus senicaudatus Simon, 1908 and other undescribed species. ♀ 15mm ♂ 8mm

Female, daytime retreat, Freshwater Creek Victoria


Eriophora pustulosa
Photo: Wendy Moore

Queens Road, Nelson New Zealand


Eriophora pustulosa
Photo: Robert Whyte

Queens Road, Nelson New Zealand


Eriophora pustulosa
Photo: Robert Whyte

 

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