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The "leaf curling spider" is an Australian native and a small member of the Araneidae family, the orb-weavers. The spider is distinguished by having a curled leaf at the centre of its web, in which it shelters, although it may use some other type of object like a snail shell or piece of paper instead. The species form pairs living together in the same leaf, though at opposite ends of their shelter, even before mating at maturity. This cohabitation may be a form of mate-guarding, because resident males challenge rival males that venture onto the web. He can still be eaten by the female though. The female also creates a separate curled leaf "nursery" hung in foliage nearby. (Wiki) PS: This is a shy species, but I have actually been bitten by one. It had set up shop behind the external mirror of a car which had been sitting idle for some time. A quick bite which stung, but I don't recall any adverse reaction. I recognise it from the photos.
Usually found in open woodland and forest habitats, as well as suburban gardens. This spotting was in a bush regeneration area in native bushland along Devlins Creek, in northwest Sydney. Native ferns, trees and shrubs were looking lush after recent rains.
Another local reference with excellent photos. One spider has even used a snail shell as a shelter - https://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane... Not to be confused with another local species, the "leaf rolling spider" (Araneus dimidiatus) - http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_... However, this is a smaller spider and it twists its leaf tighter. It is also less common than its "leaf curling" cousin.
Spotted on Mar 29, 2019
Submitted on Jun 8, 2019
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