I came across some interesting spider webs the other morning in Bunyip State Park. There was a little bit of morning dew present, which is ideal for seeing the intricate web patterns in great detail. I ticked Leaf Curler and Jewel, (Spiny), Spiders pretty quickly and then I found several of a quite different shape that I hadn’t seen before.
Tent Weaver Spiders.
Sometimes called dome webs apparently, these fascinating structures consisted of a horizontal web with a central cone, giving the whole a tent-like appearance.
At the top of the cone is a package of debris placed by the spider to create a ‘retreat’ and to conceal the egg sac a little. To me, some of the debris packets looked like large spider-like structures which made me think of a deliberate strategy to deter predators.
|Visible egg sac with female at the bottom keeping an eye out?|
When I returned two days later, without the dew, the webs were much more difficult to see amongst the tangle of heathy shrubs.
I think the genus is cyrtophora and the species hirta perhaps?