Visitors to a NSW nature reserve have been treated to an amazing spider web spectacle.
Friends Of Kooloonbung shared an image on Facebook of the “impressive” display which has been found at the Kooloonbung Creek Nature Reserve, in Port Macquarie.
The spiders have been spinning their webs in the area for years, and a volunteer said they come and go – but the creatures’ webs continue to amaze those who are fortunate enough to witness them.
“One day they can be there and next day they can be gone,” a volunteer for the Friends Of Kooloonbung, Rex Moir said.
The volunteer described the spectacle as being quite an illusion.
“Sometimes it looks like as though it’s a tent – so an upright structure, but if you look for too long it can look like it’s going downwards,” Mr Moir added.
“It’s quite spectacular once you get up very very close.”
Queensland Museum Arachnida collections manager, Dr Owen Seeman, said the spectacle is created by tent-web spiders.
“At this time of year, I would expect them to be juveniles, although it is possible they could be adults of a smaller species,” Dr Seeman said.
“I’d speculate that they’re the Russian Tent Web Spider (Cyrtophora hirta).”
But Dr Seeman said he would have to see the specimens to be sure.
“You’ll see the webs of juvenile tent-web spiders all over the place when you start to look,” he said.
“I often see them on barbed wire fences around farmland. But this is an exceptionally dense gathering.”
One of the volunteers contacted the Australian Museum and was also told the spectacle has been created by tent spiders.
“Tent spiders have modified the circular web into a dome, spiked tent or broad scoop. The web is the most diagnostic feature of the species,” Queensland museum website states.
According to the website there are a few species of tent spiders, two of which, called Scoop and Dome web spiders, are found from Coffs Harbour northwards to Cape York.
It is not known which particular species has been creating this spectacle, but volunteers are trying to get a picture of the spider so they can identify it.