on air now

‘Hawthorn spider’: Ross’s frightening backyard find

Ross found this frightening looking spider in his garden yesterday.

He’d never seen anything like it before!

The 3AW Breakfast host dubbed the arachnid the ‘Hawthorn spider’ due to its yellow and brown colouring.

But Senior Curator of Entomology at Museums Victoria, Ken Walker, says it’s the St Andrew’s Cross spider (argiope keyserlingi), which gets its name because its web looks like the St Andrew’s Cross!

Mr Walker explained why Ross has never seen a spider like it at his house before.

“When the spiderlings are very young they tie their legs together and let out a little bit of silk, and the float off in the air,” he said.

“That then disperses them all over the place.”

But Ross has been cautioned not to remove the spider.

“Spiders eat the equivalent of the weight of humans each year. So can you imagine the number of insects that would be around if it wasn’t for spiders?”