|1 species, 4 subspecies|
Gasteracantha minax L. Koch
Austracantha minax, commonly known as the Australian Jewel Spider (a nickname similar to the Araneus gemmoides of North America), Christmas Spider and Spiny Spider, is the sole species of the Austracantha genus of spider found only in Australia.
This species occurs throughout most of Australia. They like to make their webs in shrubby woodlands in large communities of spiders with each individual web connected together into a miniature spider city (pictured below).
Eggs sacs are red-brown, and can be a variety of shapes. They are usually attached to a twig near the web. Females are larger than males measuring 7 mm as opposed to the males' smaller 4 mm.
The bite of A. minax is only mildly painful, with a temporary local reaction.
Austracantha minax has four sub-species—A. minax astrigera, A. minax hermitis, A. minax leonhardii and A. minax lugubris.
- "Austracantha minax astrigera". Atlas of Living Australia. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- Platnick, Norman I. (2002): The world spider catalog, version 8.5. American Museum of Natural History.
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