This species of spider is known as the St. Andrew’s Cross spider because the lines of the white web decoration and its long legs resemble the pattern of Scotland’s national flag. The web decoration is also called the stabilimentum but its purpose is disputed. Some argue that it increases the structural integrity of the web, others suggest that it acts as a visual cue to prevent sizeable animals from flying or walking into it and some even say that it attracts prey species through reflecting ultraviolet light.
This female St. Andrew’s Cross spider was photographed above Twin Falls in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory. Through climbing the boulder onto which the web is attached and shooting from above, I was able to include the well defined shadow which makes this a more interesting image.