Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Black-legged Golden Orb-web Spider

We got to see quite a few smaller things while on the nature walk at Addo Elephant Back Safaris. At one stage we were walking next to the boundary fence and stopped while the ranger was telling us about some plant. I looked around and noticed a pretty big spider sitting on a strand of spiders web literally centimetres from the Damselfly's back. Suddenly every body's attention shifted to the spider and cameras were clicking away. Its real size was probably 2/3 of the size it is in the picture.
My The Wildlife of Southern Africa book tells me that it is a Black-legged Golden Orb-web Spider (Nephila pilipes). Their abdomen is yellow with blue marbling and they have tuffed unbanded legs. They hang in large webs of golden silk surrounded by trip lines. Small males are often present in the web. Looking at this picture I took later on the same walk, you can actually see the smaller male just below the unfortunate moth.
Amazing how close one will get to something like this spider when looking through a camera, but without it ...

5 comments:

  1. Amazing! Very clear photos!

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  2. Goodness me! The male is significantly smaller! Eew! I am sure Damselfly must have got the shudders!!

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  3. I am making an icky face at that first photo, not a big fan of spiders........but they are lovely photos..

    Gill in Canad

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  4. I couldnt help shrugging backwards when I saw that top photo. Almost fell of my chair, haha. Not very fond of spiders. But I must admit it is still a great shot and composition! :)

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  5. Amazing photos and that spider is big! It is a great shot. Thanks for sharing.

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