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A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders
by Joseph K H Koh
  Oval St Andrew's Cross Spider
Argiope aemula (Walckenaer) 1841
 
close-up of colourful abdomen Female
Unlike many other Argiope spiders, the abdomen is oval. Argiope spiders make webs which are suspended vertically 1-2 metres from the ground, the web of mature female spiders of this genus can be easily recognised by the X-shaped zigzag bands of white silk in the centre of the web. Classification: Family Araneidae, Orb-Web Spiders.
Habitat: Low shrubs beside hiking trails at the fringe of primary and secondary forests.
Female: 25-30 mm.
Male: 5-8 mm.
Distribution: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand , the Philippines, Brunei (new record), Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, Taiwan, China, Southern Japan, Northern Australia.
spider on its web showing the X-shaped white bands The brilliantly coloured spider with silvery hair on the carapace sits head down in the centre of the web, and holds its legs in pairs in such a way that they appear to be aligned to the four arms of the letter 'X'. The males are dull in colour and like the females, have the habit of pairing their legs. Their webs are, however, decorated by a lace-like centre, instead of white bands in the shape of the letter 'X'.



The web of Argiope pulchella

  From "A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders" by Joseph K. H. Koh
BP Guide to Nature Series published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by British Petroleum
© 2000 Joseph K H Koh