In December I photographed a butterfly in a strange position and subsequently discovered the Orb Weaving Spider in the process of wrapping it. At the time I was trying to document the various species of grass and butterflies we have here, so I wasn’t looking for spiders. At first I thought the butterfly may be mating, as it appeared to have too many legs and its wings were at odd angles. Then I caught sight of the large, golden-pink spider.
Initially I spend time online trying to work out the species of the spider, without success. So I emailed a photograph to two people to try to get a specific identification. The first was Ed Nieuwenhuys who has an amazing website with hundreds of photographs of spiders, including an extensive Australian Spider section. Secondly, I emailed the Discovery Centre at the Museum of Victoria for local expertise. Both Ed and Simon, from the Museum, replied to my email, and both told me it was “a species of orb-weaver, most likely from the genus Eriophora”. So, it seems there are many species of Orb Weaver, and this is as specific as I can be.
The following sequence of photographs show the Orb Weaving Spider wrapping what appears to be a Common Brown Butterfly.