Two Spined Spider from New Zealand

Subject: Spider identification needed!
Location: Wanganui, New Zealand
February 9, 2016 7:15 pm
My mother found this spider in the garden today and I was curious what type it is, any help would be appreciated!
Signature: Tessa Mitchell-anyon

Two Spined Spider
Two Spined Spider

Dear Tessa,
This little beauty is a Two Spined Spider,
Poecilopachys australasia, and according to T.E.R.R.A.I.N.:  “The nocturnal two spined spiders is an immigrant from Australia and have been recorded in New Zealand since the early 1970s. The female Poecilopachys australasia is about 9 mm in length and when mature has two white horn-like ‘spines. Yellow and white bands and some red-brown markings are visible. Large body hairs on an adult female gradually disappear as she approaches maturity. The two spined spider is found in gardens on shrubs, often on citrus trees. By day, the spider will hide under leaves, emerging at night to construct a cart wheel-shaped web.
The egg sac of the two spined spider is spindle shaped.  The male is much smaller (2.5 mm – 3 mm in length) and looks very different. . Adult males lack the pair of large abdominal spurs and the bright colours that characterize the adult females. They look so different that they were first thought to be a different species.  Despite the small size of the two spined spider, it is capable of capturing moths and other insects several times its own size. Two spined spiders are regarded as harmless to humans.”

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