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Bird Dropping Spider
  Celaenia excavata
  Family: Araneidae  ID: Koch, 1867
 
 
Bird-dropping Spider on egg sacs
Bird-dropping Spider
Bird-dropping Spider with egg sacs
Bird-dropping Spider egg sac
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Habitat and Biology
This spider has been described as the master of camouflage, its colour pattern resembling a bird dropping. Another common name for the species is the death's head spider, due to the supposed resemblance of the body colours to a skull. The bird-dropping spider is a sedentary spider found sitting on a leaf or suspended underneath its egg cases. The egg cases, numbering up to 13, are large (12-14 mm in diameter), dark brown spheres with black criss-cross markings. This spider feeds at night, almost exclusively on male moths. It sits with forelegs outstretched awaiting the approach of prey. The spider attracts the moth by releasing a sex pheromone or smell similar to that produced by female moths.

Colour
Male: Similar to female.
Female: Body mottled brown, black and cream.

Form
Abdomen broad and triangular, upper surface rising to a pair of roughened humps towards the rear, distinctly concave along midline. Legs folded against body.

Body Length
Male: 2.5mm
Female: 12mm

Web type
Constructs a web to suspend egg cases, not to catch food.

Bite
The bite is not considered dangerous but could possibly result in a local reaction.

© Museum Victoria Australia