Gasteracantha clavigera

Gasteracantha clavigera is a species within the genus Gasteracantha, commonly known as spiny orb-weaver spiders. This genus is noted for the females’ distinctive hard, spiny abdomens and the brightly colored, often striking patterns these spiders exhibit. Gasteracantha clavigera, like its congeners, is known for a hard, spiny abdomen, which is thought to deter predators. The females are particularly noticeable due to their size and colorful patterns, while males are much smaller and less conspicuously colored.






















Gasteracantha clavigera

Other Information


Spiny orb-weavers, including Gasteracantha clavigera, are venomous, using their venom to immobilize prey caught in their webs. However, their venom is not dangerous to humans, typically causing no more than minor symptoms such as localized pain or itching if a bite occurs.

A Danger to Humans?

These spiders pose minimal danger to humans. They are not aggressive and tend to avoid contact with humans whenever possible. Bites are rare and not considered medically significant.

Population Status

Specific information on the population size of Gasteracantha clavigera is not widely documented. However, spiny orb-weavers tend to be common in suitable habitats within their distribution range, indicating potentially stable populations where environmental conditions are favorable.

Orbweavers (Gasteracantha clavigera), Photo by David Lowenthal

Life Span:
The lifespan of spiny orb-weaver spiders generally spans about a year, allowing for the cycle of mating, egg-laying, and the emergence of new spiders within a single season.

Weight and Length:
Females of the species can be quite noticeable due to their size, with body lengths reaching up to a few centimeters, excluding leg span. Males are significantly smaller. Specific weight data is not commonly noted due to the small size of these spiders.

The distribution of Gasteracantha clavigera specifically might not be widely documented, but members of the Gasteracantha genus are found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, suggesting a preference for warmer climates.

Habits and Lifestyle:
Gasteracantha clavigera, like other spiny orb-weavers, constructs orb webs typically in open areas where they can catch flying insects. The web often includes a stabilimentum, a conspicuous zigzag band of silk.

Diet and Nutrition:
Their diet consists primarily of insects that become ensnared in their webs. The web’s structure and placement are crucial for the spider’s success in capturing a variety of flying insects.

Mating Habits:
Mating behavior in spiny orb-weavers involves the male approaching the female with caution to avoid being mistaken for prey. After mating, females lay eggs in silk sacs, which are often attached to vegetation or the web’s periphery.