Did You Know? 19 Incredible Jewel Spider Facts

Unbelievable jewel spider facts like that they have spines on their abdomen are interesting.

Austracantha is a family of spiders with solitary animal types, Austracantha minax, usually known as the jewel spider or Christmas spider. It is an individual from the family Araneidae (the circle weavers) and is endemic to Australia. These spider species are small in size compared to other spider species. The abdomen of this spider consists of six distinctive spines, which makes them easy to recognize. They can be found greatly in southern and western Australia, including Queensland.

These animals are overwhelmingly glossy dark, with variable white, yellow, and orange. Melanistic shapes likewise happen during pre-winter. They are voluntarily gregarious and can be found in huge collections of covering circle webs. They feed on little flies that get caught in their webs. They are innocuous to people, however, the webs can be a disturbance for bushwalkers. They are generally overflowing throughout late spring.

For more relatable content, check out these orb-weaver spider facts and yellow sac spider facts for kids.

Jewel Spider

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Flying insects, flies, bugs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Up to 1,000 eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

Male: 0.2 in (4 mm)

Female: 0.3 in (8 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, white, orange, yellow, red

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Habitat loss, birds, frogs, lizards

What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them

Woodland, trees, garden


Southern Australia, western Australia, Queensland, North America





Scientific Name

Austracantha minax





Jewel Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a jewel spider?

Austracantha is a species of spider, Austracantha minax, whose common name is jewel spider or Christmas spider.

What class of animal does a jewel spider belong to?

Austracantha minax animal belongs to the Arachnida class.

How many jewel spiders are there in the world?

The total population of this spider species across the world is unknown.

Where does a jewel spider live?

Australian jewel spiders are found all through the terrain, just as encompassing islands, including Tasmania, Barrow Island, western Australia, and Montebello Islands. They live on trees and homes or plants, in a cob silk web created by them. These spiny spiders make sure to build reliable, strong webs for them to stay.

What is a jewel spider's habitat?

These spiny spider species of Australia are found in tropical and subtropical districts of the world including Australia. They can be greatly found in Queensland. In Australia, this Austracantha minax (Christmas spider) has been found in all states including Tasmania and on different islands off the coast. It is especially not unexpected in the summer a long time of January and February. This Australian spider species occupy for the most part bush regions near marshes and springs. Many spider species are solitary, but Australian Christmas spiders are much of the time found in provinces of public networks which might number hundreds and even thousands.

Who do jewel spiders live with?

This species of spider in Australia are known to live a solitary life.

How long does a jewel spider live?

Jewel spider lifespan is unknown, but it is believed to be around one year or more.

How do they reproduce?

After finding a responsive female, a male Christmas spider will start approaching by first appending a 'mating string' from close by plants to the edge of the female's circle web. It then positions itself in this string and starts playing it with its first and second pair of legs. The female will react by moving towards the wellspring of the vibrations, in the long run, climbing unto the mating string itself. When this occurs, the male Christmas spider will fold its legs over the female firmly and in addition put its pedipalps into the female's epigyne, moving its spermatophores into the female's spermathecae. A female Austracantha minax can mate with numerous males during a solitary conceptive cycle. Whenever allowed the opportunity, the female will in any case promptly mate with different males not long after a fruitful mating. To forestall sperm contest, an effective male will guard the female in a matter of seconds previously, then after the fact mating. It effectively drives away other opponent males until the female enters a hard-headed period and stops being open to additional matings. This typically happens an hour to a day after an effective mating, during which the female will forcefully assault and drive away all pursuing males. Females can lay up to thousands of eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this spiny spider has not been evaluated yet.

Jewel Spider Fun Facts

What do jewel spiders look like?

Austracantha minax (Christmas spiders) have a particular appearance that makes them somewhat simple to recognize. Their body length differs between the sexes. Males have a body length of around 0.2 in (4 mm), and females' body length is around 0.3 in (8 mm). They have two grown coral-like horns or spines on their abdomen. The cephalothorax is dark with a pale blue metallic sheen. It is covered with little white hairs (setae). The upper piece of the cephalothorax is rectangular. The sternum (chest) is caramel dark, with a yellow focal region. The teeth are dark with four to six little teeth. The maxillae and different mouthparts are dark at the base, easing up to brown and radiant yellow at the tips. The pedipalps are dim brown. Austracantha minax (Christmas spider) has eight eyes organized in two columns. The first column is recurved, with the two center eyes (foremost middle eyes) further in front than the two along the edges (front horizontal eyes). The back column is procurved, with the two center eyes (back middle eyes) further in the back than the two along the edges (back parallel eyes). The legs in females are prevalently messy yellow to orange in shading. Black points are available on the last three portions of the legs.

Jewel spiders have spines on their abdomen.

How cute are they?

Australian jewel (Austracantha minax) looks cuter with its beautiful eyes and colorful body but, usually, society chooses to stay away from spiders and doesn't think them to be cute.

How do they communicate?

These Christmas spiders of Australia communicate through vibrations and also use these vibrations to capture other small spiders.

How big is a jewel spider?

Overall spiny jewel spider size differs on the sexes, where the female is bigger than the male. Males have a length of 0.2 in (4 mm), and females reach up to 0.3 in (8 mm). They are a bit smaller than American house spiders and five times smaller than the hacklemesh weaver.

How fast can a jewel spider run?

Their accurate speed has not been identified, yet the Austracantha minax (Christmas spider) is known for quickly moving when chasing or getting away from its hunters.

How much does a  weigh?

The weight of this Austracantha minax (spiders) is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

These species have no special names for the male or the female.

What would you call a baby jewel spider?

The name of young Austracantha minax is spiderlings.

What do they eat?

The jewel spider is known to eat insects like flies, mosquitoes, and other small spiders. On the other hand, these spiders are hunted and preyed upon by bigger spiders and larger insects.

Are they poisonous?

Austracantha minax (spiders) are viewed as harmless, however, their web accumulations can be an aggravation to bushwalkers. Like practically all spiders, they have toxin organs which they use to quell prey, yet jewel spiders bite when restraining the victim. Their bites are normally painful to people.

Would they make a good pet?

Somehow if you like spiders, then you can keep Austracantha minax as a pet. If you choose to keep them as pets, they'll consume a little area in your home, and you can get bugs from around your home to take care of your pet.

Did you know...

The five sub-species of Austracantha minax include Austracantha minax astrigera, Austracantha minax minax, Austracantha minax hermitis, Austracantha minax leonhardii, Austracantha minax lugubris.

Types of jewel spider

There are different species of jewel spiders, including blue jewel spider, yellow jewel spider, and rainbow jewel spider, which are all mostly present in Australia.

Why are they called jewel spiders?

Because of the Austracantha minax (Christmas spider) body coloration, the common name of this spider is jewel spiders.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these David Bowie spider fun facts and Johnson jumping spider interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable spider coloring pages.



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