The Bird Dropping Spider (Celaenia excavata) is an arachnid in the Araneidae family. The toxicity of the Bird Dropping Spider is unknown. It is also known as Death’s Head Spider, Orchard Spider, and Bird-Dung Spider.
The Bird Dropping Spider looks like bird droppings – bird poop – to avoid predators, such as birds. It has a broad, triangular, black-brown body with a pair of bumps near its rear end. Its legs are usually folded against its body.
It grows to about 1-2 centimetres (half to one inch) in length.
It is native to Australia, along the eastern and southern coastal areas.
It prefers open woodlands, orchards with fruit trees, and urban gardens.
It is nocturnal, active at night. During the day, it lies still. At night, it feeds on insects, especially moths. Its predators include birds and wasps.
The female Bird Dropping Spider has up to 13 brown egg sacs (round pea-shaped pods) that contain about 200 eggs each. The egg sacs are connected to each other with spider webs and threads.
[Location of photograph: Adelaide, Australia]
Photographer: Alison Powell
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM