- This page contains pictures and information about Tent Web Spiders of Genus
Cyrtophora that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
- Tent web
- Tent spiders in Genus Cyrtophora are from small to medium size.
They build tent-shaped web usually about a meter above grounds. They usually build their webs among
the bushes and never across walking tracks or footpaths. We seldom
accidentally walk into a tend web.
- The tent web structure is very different from orb
web. It is quite hard to distinguish radius or capture thread, The tent
web is complicate but usually neat and tidy. It will take quite a long time
for the spider to build a web. From our observation it takes more than 12
hours to build a tent web while it normally takes less than half an hours to
build a typical orb web. So you normally do not see tent spider to rebuild
the whole web, instead they usually repair the web.
- Some species build retreat at the centre of the tent web. It is usually
covered with plant materials and other debris.
- Basic structure of a tent web
- Tent web silks are non-sticky. They are water proof as well. The water
drop will not attached to the web silks. This is different from orb web
silks. Tent web does not be even affected by heavy rainfall. We did an
experiment using a garden water hose, with a column of water sprayed on the
tent web. The tent web was not affected. Not a single drop of water attached
with the web silk and not any damages can be found. We did the same test
with a orb web build by Garden Orb-web Spider,
Tits web was slightly damage and with a lot of water drips left on the web.
We believed that the tent web silk has the special effect with water surface
tension. There could be some applications if we find out this secret.
- Followings listed the Tent Web Spiders that we found.
- Tent Spider
- Cyrtophora moluccensis, leg to leg 50mm
- Tent Spiders are common in Brisbane gardens and backyars. They have silver
patterns on the body, some with yellow background colour, some are red and
some are blue. They build tent shaped webs between plants and bushes. Their
tent-shaped webs are easily recognized, up to 60cm in diameter. The spider
rests upside down in the middle of the tent from day to night. Sometimes we
can see a number of the Tent Spiders build their tent webs joined together
and cover an area of a few meters. For more pictures and information please
- Russian Tent Spider
- Cyrtophora parnasia or C. hirta , leg to leg
- The Russian Tent Spider is less often seen compared with Tent Spider
above. It builds a peaked web like a Russian tent and the tent is about 25cm
in size. The spider has a white abdomen, brown head and brown legs. In day
time the spider hides inside middle of the tent, where egg-sac can sometimes
be found. Egg-sac is covered with messy silk and plant materials. We
recorded how Russian Tent Spider builds its tent-shaped
web on another page.
- Pan-web Spider
- Cyrtophora exanthematica, leg to leg 15mm
- Pan-web Spider is pale brown to dark grey in colour. We easily found this
spider in Brisbane Botanic Garden. The spider builds web similar to Tent Spiders
but with different shape. Instead of tent-shaped web, this Spider's webs are
in pan shape. We call them Pan-web Spiders. For more information and
pictures please click
- 1. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson
- 2. Australian Spiders in colour - Ramon Mascord, Reed Books Pty
Ltd, 1970, p80.
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