Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Golden Web Spiders

Subfamily Nephilinae

This is a subfamily in Family Araneidae1.

It contains the familiar Golden Web Spiders (Nephila sp.), the females of which are some of the largest spiders in Singapore. There are two Nephila species in Singapore - the Golden Web Spider (N. pilipes) and Batik Golden Web Spider (N. antipodiana). Golden Web Spiders are also known as Golden Orb-web Spiders, Golden Silk Spider, etc. The word 'golden' comes from the perceived colour of the large web they spin. They are common in forested areas, as well as in parks and gardens.Argyrodes spiders live kleptoparasitically with the Golden Web Spiders and can be distinguished from the small Nephila male by the triangular abdomen.

The subfamily also contains two other species in Singapore - Ornamental Tree-trunk Spider and Malabar Spider.
  1. Ornamental Tree-trunk Spider Herennia ornatissima
  2. Batik Golden Web Spider Nephila antipodiana
  3. Golden Web Spider Nephila pilipes
  4. Malabar Spider Nephilengys malabarensis

Golden Web Spider (Nephila pilipes)

This is a large spider more than 3 cm in body length. It was also known as N. maculata. The male, however, is much smaller and is red in colour.

Turut Track ©Steven Chong. Pasir Ris Park ©Melvin Dionio

Mandai: Black morph. Typical morph ©Tan KH

Pulau Ubin. Admiralty Park ©Tan KH

Sungei Buloh ©Sylvia Chua

Pasir Ris Park ©Tan KH

Batik Golden Web Spider (Nephila antipodiana)

This is a large spider about 3 cm in body length. It is smaller than the typical Golden Web Spider. It is named for the batik pattern on its abdomen and it is recognizable by the rows of yellow spots on its abdomen. The male, however, is much smaller and is red in colour.

Female with its tiny mate and her molted exoskeleton. The red triangular spider is Argyrodes flavescens. Botanic Gardens ©Tan KH

Big female with small red male and lots of food at Pasir Ris Park ©Tan KH


1. Family: Araneidae Clerck, 1757

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