Asian Spinybacked Orbweaver

Thelacantha brevispina

Thelacantha brevispina is a unique species of orb-weaving spider known for its distinctive appearance, including the notable spines on its abdomen. This species belongs to the family Araneidae, which comprises many of the orb-weavers known for their architecturally complex webs. Thelacantha brevispina is easily identifiable by its relatively large, spiny abdomen, which serves as a deterrent to predators. This spider constructs orb webs, typically in vegetation, to catch flying insects.






















Thelacantha brevispina

Other Information


Like most orb-weaving spiders, Thelacantha brevispina is venomous, utilizing its venom to subdue prey captured in its web. However, the venom is not harmful to humans beyond potential mild irritation or localized reactions at the bite site.

A Danger to Humans?

There is minimal danger to humans from Thelacantha brevispina. These spiders are not aggressive towards humans and will only bite if they feel threatened and have no means of escape. Bites from this species are rare and not considered medically significant.

Population Status

Specific data on the population size of Thelacantha brevispina is not widely documented. As with many spider species, their populations can vary widely based on environmental conditions and the availability of prey.

Asian Spinybacked Orbweaver (Thelacantha brevispina), Photo by David Lowenthal

Life Span:
The life span of orb-weaving spiders like Thelacantha brevispina can vary, but many live for about a year, with females often dying after producing and securing their egg sacs.

Weight and Length:
Females grow to about 6 to 10 millimetres (0.24 to 0.39 in) long, while males reach a size of 3 to 5 millimetres (0.12 to 0.20 in)

Thelacantha brevispina is found in various parts of Australia, Indonesia and some neighboring regions. Its distribution is influenced by suitable habitat availability for web construction and prey capture.

Asian Spinybacked Orbweaver (Thelacantha brevispina), Photo by David Lowenthal

Habits and Lifestyle:
Thelacantha brevispina is a nocturnal spider, more active at night when it repairs its web, hunts, and sometimes consumes the old web. During the day, it often hides in foliage or other retreats near its web.

Diet and Nutrition:
Its diet primarily consists of flying insects that become ensnared in its web. The size and structure of the web allow it to capture a variety of prey sizes.

Mating Habits:
The mating behavior of Thelacantha brevispina involves careful approach strategies by the male to avoid being attacked by the larger female. Males may pluck strands of the female’s web to signal their presence and intentions. After mating, the female lays eggs and creates an egg sac, which she guards or secures in a safe location.