Multi-coloured Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider

Argiope versicolor

Argiope versicolor is a species of orb-weaver spider, part of the Argiope genus, which is known for its strikingly colored and large web-spinning spiders. These spiders are well-regarded for their beautiful webs, often decorated with stabilimenta, and their vibrant body patterns. Argiope versicolor is notable for its vivid coloration and large size, characteristic of the Argiope genus. The spiders often have bright, contrasting colors, which can serve various functions, including attracting prey, deterring predators, and facilitating mating.






















Argiope versicolor

Other Information


Like all orb-weaver spiders, Argiope versicolor is venomous, using its venom to immobilize prey caught in its web. However, the venom is generally not considered dangerous to humans, typically causing mild symptoms such as localized pain, swelling, or itching if a bite occurs.

A Danger to Humans?

Argiope versicolor poses minimal danger to humans. These spiders are not aggressive towards humans and tend to bite only if provoked or threatened directly. Bites are rare and not considered medically significant.

Population Status

Specific data on the population size of Argiope versicolor is not widely documented. However, orb-weaver spiders tend to be common in suitable habitats, indicating potentially stable populations where environmental conditions are favorable.

Multi-coloured Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider (Argiope versicolor), Photo by David Lowenthal

Life Span:
The life span of orb-weaver spiders, including Argiope versicolor, can vary but generally spans about a year, allowing for a cycle of mating, egg-laying, and the emergence of new spiders within a single season.

Weight and Length:
Orb-weaver spiders can vary in size, with Argiope species often being among the larger spiders, excluding leg span. While specific weight is rarely noted, the body length can range from a few centimeters, making them quite noticeable.

Argiope versicolor is found in various parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Its habitat includes areas where it can securely anchor its large webs, such as in vegetation in gardens, fields, and forest edges.

Multi-coloured Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider (Argiope versicolor), Photo by David Lowenthal

Habits and Lifestyle:
These spiders are diurnal, spending daylight hours maintaining their webs, catching prey, or sitting in the center of the web, head down. They often rebuild their webs daily to ensure the web’s effectiveness in prey capture.

Diet and Nutrition:
Argiope versicolor feeds primarily on insects that become ensnared in its web. The spider uses its venom to immobilize the prey before consuming it, playing a significant role in controlling insect populations in its habitat.

Mating Habits:
Mating behavior in orb-weaver spiders involves complex rituals, with males often needing to approach females with caution to avoid being mistaken for prey. After mating, females lay eggs in silk egg sacs, which are often placed in protected areas near or in the web.