Hasselt’s Spiny Spider

Macracantha hasselti

Macracantha hasselti, are distinguished by their large, spines protruding from the sides of their abdomen, a unique feature among spiders. These brightly colored spiders are visual predators that build orb webs to catch flying insects.






















Macracantha hasselti

Other Information


Like most orb-weaver spiders, Macracantha species use venom to immobilize prey caught in their webs. The venom is effective against their prey but is generally harmless to humans, causing mild irritation at most.

A Danger to Humans?

There is minimal danger to humans from Macracantha species. They are not aggressive towards humans, and bites are extremely rare. Any bite would likely result in mild symptoms such as localized pain or swelling.

Population Status

Specific data on the population size of Macracantha species is not widely available. These spiders are relatively common in suitable habitats within their range but are not considered to be of conservation concern.

Hasselt’s Spiny Spider (Macracantha hasselti), Photo by David Lowenthal

Life Span:
The lifespan of Macracantha species, like many orb-weavers, likely spans a single season, from egg to mature adult within a year. Females often die after producing and securing their egg sacs, with new generations emerging subsequently.

Weight and Length:
Specific weight data for Macracantha species is not commonly documented, but the body length can be significant due to their large abdomen and protruding spines. The overall body (excluding legs) is typically a few centimeters long.

Macracantha hasselti is found in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (Bali) and surrounding areas. They prefer forested habitats and gardens where they can build their webs between trees and bushes.

Hasselt’s Spiny Spider (Macracantha hasselti), Photo by David Lowenthal

Habits and Lifestyle:
These spiders are diurnal, often seen maintaining their webs or sitting in the center to catch prey during the day. Their webs are usually constructed in open areas to capture flying insects.

Diet and Nutrition:
Their diet primarily consists of flying insects that become ensnared in their orb webs. The spiders use their venom to quickly immobilize captured prey before consuming it.

Mating Habits:
Mating behavior involves the male carefully approaching the female, often signaled through vibrations on the web to avoid being mistaken for prey. The male must navigate the female’s web and perform proper courtship behaviors to be accepted as a mate.