New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: n/a
Poecilopachys australasia, commonly known as the two-spined spider, is a nocturnal orb-weaving spider that arrived in New Zealand from Australia in the early 1970s.
Females are about 8mm long and brightly coloured. The upper surface of the abdomen is yellow and olive-green with two white spines from which the spider gets its common name. The front of the abdomen has a broad band of cream and yellow, while the rear has an upward pointing chevron mark on a red and yellow background. The egg sac is small, papery brown in colour, and spindle shaped. Legs and cephalothorax are red-brown on young spiders, becoming darker to black as they mature.
Adult males are much smaller, only about 2.5 to 3mm long, making them much more difficult to find. Males do not have the spines or bright colours of the female and once were thought to be a different species altogether.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader