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Australian Two-Spined Spider

We have found a very strange looking spider in the garden and wondered what it was. It has what looks like two white horns on its back.

 

This sounds like the two-spined spider from Australia (see photo above), which, in the warmer parts of New Zealand, is making a real name for itself. It's a useful creature to have around because it catches pests, particularly the moths of leaf-roller caterpillars.

It often lives in citrus trees, and when you shine your torch on it in the evening, you'll see that it's a very busy little spider indeed. It makes a huge web at night, but the remarkable thing is that each morning it hauls the whole web up and all its catch, eats it, then recycles the silk for the next night.

The two-spined spider is also known as the bird-dropping spider. If you look at its colour, you can see why. It looks just like bird poop.

So if you find one of these wonderful spiders or its egg cases (see photo above middle) in your backyard, that's good news, because it will help reduce pests in the garden.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH
 
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