Hawaii Biological Survey's


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70. Asian Spinybacked Spider

Scientific name: Gasteracantha mammosa Koch, 1844

Classification: Phylum: Arthropoda. Class: Arachnida. Family: Araneidae

Origin: Introduced in 1985; native to India and Sri Lanka

Status: Common; uncommon on O`ahu

Distribution: All the main islands except Kaho`olawe

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This spider is more harmless than it looks. It builds a typical spider web but can cause some annoyance to those who accidentally walk into their webs that are strung up across trails and in between trees. It is uncommon on O`ahu because of the introduced red-vented bulbul (also from India), which is its natural predator. In Hawai`i, the bulbul (see card no. 26) is found only on O`ahu.

   Photo by David Preston