Sethy, my parents and I were at Loch Ard Gorge. We were the lookout for Muttonbird Island and had very little luck with birding. We were about to leave when I saw this.
The macro was struggling to focus and I wasn’t sure I’d get enough detail for an ID. However, people on Bowerbird were able to ID it as ‘Austracantha minax’.
I’d never seen one before and it seems quite interesting. It used to be the only species in its genus until it was reclassified. There are five subspecies. I’m leaning towards it being the nominate subspecies, Austracantha minax minax. I have no idea if I’m right.
According to Climate Watch, Gasteracantha sacerdotalis(= Thelacanta brevispina) is a very similar species with white pattern on darker surface of the abdomen.
Their behaviour is actually quite interesting, especially in relation to their webs. Arkive.org has a lot of useful information.
If only all spiders were as easy as this to identify!