Wild South East

a nature blog of south-east Victoria, mostly Gippsland

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Bird-dropping Spider

When it comes to camouflage in nature not many evolve to look like poo! The Bird-dropping Spider Celaenia excavata  is one of these.

Bird dropping spider

Female Bird-dropping Spider

I came across this species while working west of Wonthaggi today and if I hadn’t seen one before I wouldn’t have recognised it as a spider. Sitting motionless with its legs and head tucked up it actually does look like bird droppings (my wife thinks it looks like a frog from the back end). It grows to about 12-15mm in length.

This species is nocturnal and hunts mainly moths, in fact it actually hunts for male moths only! This is because at night the spider hangs from a silk thread and releases a pheromone similar to those released by female moths which in turn attracts males.

Bird-dropping Spiders are usually associated with open habitats, often highly degraded, and are found mostly in southern and eastern Australia. The easily recognisable egg sacs are light brown with prominent dark stripes and are similar size to the female.