Celaenia excavataCommon name: Bird-dropping Spider

Meaning of name: Unknown.

Distribution: This spider has been found throughout Australia.

Remarks: The females of the Bird-dropping Spider can grow to have a body length of approximately 15 millimetres, but the males only reach about 3 millimetres.

Looking like a bird dropping is a camouflage defence strategy against predators – after all, who would want to eat a bird dropping?

At night, female Bird-dropping Spiders emit a pheromone which smells just like the scent emitted by a female moth trying to attract a mate. The male moths of Spodoptera mauritia, Lawn Armyworm, are attracted to the spider and eaten for their efforts.

The females have up to 13 egg sacs, with about 200 eggs each, strung together with strong threads.

References: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celaenia_excavata

Spiders of Australia  http://ednieuw.home.xs4all.nl/australian/araneidae/araneidae.html

http://www.arachne.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=2161

Australian Museum http://australianmuseum.net.au/Bird-dropping-spider

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