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The Spider's Parlour

Fascinating Facts


Frequently Asked Questions

Melbourne's Spiders

Writing Scientifically
Make your own:
Climbing spider
Spider web
Red-back spider


Spider Hunting

The Magnificent Spider attracts male moths by emitting a scent that mimics the sex attracting scent put out by female moths. The spider senses the vibrations of the approaching moth’s wing beat and starts swinging the sticky bolas in a circle below it. This eventually hits the fluttering moth, and the spider hauls in its meal.

The Water Spider sits with its legs on the water. If an insect falls in, the spider senses the vibrations and dashes across the water surface film to grab it. It can also capture tadpoles and fish.

Many hunters use ‘sit-in-wait’ strategies to catch a meal. Trapdoor spiders can hide under their doors but other ambushers depend on their colours and shapes to deceive their insect prey.

Arid zone trapdoor spiders increase their food gathering area by attaching ‘triplines’ of twigs and leaves around the burrow rim. The spider runs out to attack any insects that walk across the triplines.

During the day, Bird Dropping Spiders sit on leaves looking like bird poo. This hides them from predators and helps them to catch insects. When an insect comes too close, an innocent looking lump of poo may turn into a spider, with strong, spiny front legs.

Jumping Spiders use their excellent eyesight to hunt prey and recognise their enemies. Jumping Spiders can make leaps of up to 60 times their own body length. When pouncing on their prey they make short accurate leaps propelled by the rapid extension of their back legs.

Spiders & Sex



Spider Silk

Why so hairy?

© Museum Victoria Australia