The leaf-curling spider, Phonognatha graeffei, is commonly found throughout southern Australia in open woodland and forest habitats as well as urban gardens. It normally uses a leaf in the centre of the web for protection, mainly from birds, but many other objects may be used as a shelter in the web including snail shells and old bus tickets. Large numbers of this spider may occur in a localised area; however, unlike the spiny spider, all webs are solitary. Food consists mainly of flying insects. Egg sacs are placed inside a folded leaf suspended some distance outside the main web.
Female: Cephalothorax and legs red-brown. Abdomen with an irregular creamy yellow chevroned pattern on the upperside. Stout, oval-shaped abdomen with slender, long legs. The Male is similar to the female.
Body Length: Male: 5mm, Female: 8mm
Web type: Orb web with curled leaf or other retreat placed in the centre.
Bite: Bites from this spider are rare but may cause local reaction, including localised pain and swelling.
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