I associate Golden Orb-weaving spiders (Nephila pilipes (syn. maculata)) with the hot period leading up to the wet. Adult females are particularly impressive in their gigantism, which increases relative to the equator. The image on the left has a male on the female’s abdomen.
They would appear to have a three-month life-cycle with an extraordinary growth rate in females; from ~1mm to full hand-span in six weeks.
Their webs are spectacular and so strong they can break the momentum of small birds and bats. I observed one spanning an expanse one night and was astonished to see a three dimensional film of silk (about 30mm in diameter) being played across currents, seemingly unaffected by gravity, to a tree some five-metres distant. The spider then pulled the film into a thread.
There seems to be two distinct morphs; the lighter-coloured variety being vastly out-numbered by the black and yellow variety. Each is viewed differently through the compound eyes of flying insects, producing different capture rates. At nightime, however, darkness is so complete that colour is of little relevance and different groups of flying/jumping insects abound. Nephilas can vary the strength and flexibility of their silk to meet the different challenges of crickets or flies.
They are eaten by cassowaries and most probably frogmouths.