Scientific Name: Austracantha minax
Other Common Names: Spiny Spider, Christmas Spider
Species documented in 1859 by Thorell.
A small spider, males growing up to 4mm, females up to 8mm. The many names of this common spider could describe many traits. The common name of Jewel spider may refer to the colourful markings of this particular species and the Spiny spider due to the six spines.
Builds an orb or wheel type web.
May also inhabit other states, but no official recordings have been made.
The black spines circling the abdomen with distinctive yellow, white and black markings allow for easy identification of this species (Atkinson, 2006). The genus was previously known as Gasteracantha. The current genus Austracantha is often spelt incorrectly as Astracantha (Platnick, 2000).
N. I. Platnick, 2007. The World Spider Catalog, American Museum of Natural History. Revision 7.5. Available from: <http://research.amnh.org/entomology/spiders/catalog/ARANEIDAE.html> [Accessed 11 March 2007]
Ed Nieuwenhuys & Ronald Loggen, 2006. Wheel weaving spiders, <Available from: http://www.xs4all.nl/~ednieuw/australian/araneidae/araneidae.html> [Accessed 11 March 2007]
Ron Atkinson, 2006. The FInd-a-spider Guide: Jewel Spider, University of Southern Queensland. Available from: <http://www.usq.edu.au/spider/find/spiders/126.htm> [Accessed 11 March 2007]
CSIRO, 2004. Austracantha minax, CSIRO Entomology. Available from: <http://www.ento.csiro.au/aicn/name_s/b_480.htm> [Accessed 11 March 2007]