The St. Andrew’s cross spider is a large orb-weaver spider St Andrew’s Cross Spiders are common across the east coast of Australia and can be found from central NSW all the way to southern Queensland. It belongs to the genus Argiope, whose members are famous not just for their size, but also their often brightly coloured abdomens and the distinctive zig-zags they weave into their webs.
The zig-zags in the web of a St. Andrew’s cross spider form a large X shape, similar to the heraldic symbol known as a saltire. It’s also known as Saint Andrew’s cross, since Andrew the Apostle is traditionally said to have been crucified on a diagonal cross in the shape of the letter X.
The web decorations of Argiope spiders have long posed a mystery, and there is still no clear consensus about their purpose. They’re called stabilimenta, a reference to an early belief that they help fortify or stabilis
The size of a St. Andrew’s cross spider might be intimidating, but it poses very little danger to people. Its venom is not highly toxic to humans, and like most spiders, it is generally not aggressive with people.
St. Andrews Cross spiders prey includes flies, moths, butterflies, beetles and bees. These are usually secured by silk wrapping into a neat parcel before being bitten – although smaller prey may be bitten first.