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.
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.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH