Diamond Comb-footed
Platform Comb-footed 

Leaf Curling Spider - Phonognatha graeffei 


This page contains pictures and information about Leaf Curling Spiders that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Body length 12mm
Leaf Curling Spiders are easily found in open bushland in Brisbane. We saw many of them in late summer. The female spider build the egg-sac by curling dry leaf. It usually hangs from a twig near the web. Male spider is a little smaller than the female. 
wpe6.jpg (25349 bytes)  wpe3.jpg (33455 bytes)
The spider seldom goes outside their leaf retreat unless a prey fall on its web, or it has to repair or re-build its web. The spider usually re-build its web at night. 
wpeE.jpg (41691 bytes)  wpe11.jpg (44248 bytes)
When outside its retreat, the spider is in high alert. It will rush back even if there is a minor disturb. The spider has brown legs and brown thorax. Its abdomen is white in colour with dark patterns. 
wpeD.jpg (19154 bytes)  wpe6.jpg (32920 bytes)
Although most of the Leaf Curling Spiders build their retreat with dry leaf, sometime we find them build retreat with fresh green leaf.


DSC_0977.jpg (41836 bytes)  DSC_0978.jpg (49059 bytes)
Mid summer Dec 2007 in Karawatha Forest, we saw this little spider wandering on the edge of a Leaf Curling Spider web. The web owner was hiding inside the curled leaf retreat. This litter spider looked similar to the Leaf Curling Spider except half the size and with relatively smaller abdomen. We believed this was the male Leaf Curling Spider. 
DSC_0980.jpg (52158 bytes)  DSC_0973.jpg (32429 bytes)

The web

wpe9.jpg (32424 bytes)  wpeF.jpg (58255 bytes)
The Leaf Curling Spiders build vertical fan-shaped web, or half of a orb web, usually 0.5 meter in diameter, one meter above the ground.
wpe17.jpg (58412 bytes)  wpe19.jpg (50235 bytes) 
They always build a retreat on the upper side of their web. Usually they build the retreat by a dry leaf. They stay inside their retreat, put their forelegs on their web and sense if any prey come into their web. If disturbed, they quickly hide inside the retreat.

1. Leaf-curler - The Find-a-spider Guide for Australian Spiders, University of Southern Queensland, 2007. 
2. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson 1969, p70.
3. Australian Spiders in colour - Ramon Mascord, Reed Books Pty Ltd, 1970, p70.

Back to top.

Up ] Golden Orb-Weaver ] [ Leaf Curling Spider ]

Thank you australian-insects.com for the web hosting.
Download large pictures in our Wallpaper web page.  Give us comments in our Guest Book, or send email to us. A great way to support us is to buy a CD from us. 
Last updated: December 10, 2007.