Austracantha minax

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Austracantha minax
Austracantha minax.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
Genus: Austracantha
Dahl, 1914
Species: A. minax
Binomial name
Austracantha minax
(Thorell, 1859)
1 species, 4 subspecies

Gasteracantha minax L. Koch[1]

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.

Austracantha minax spider, common name, Christmas spider, photographed at Darlington, Western Australia, January 2013
A large population of jewel spiders who have made a large communal web along a fenceline in rural Victoria.

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.


  1. ^ "Austracantha minax astrigera". Atlas of Living Australia. Retrieved 30 August 2012.