Steve Banks

Steve Banks

Posted on 09/22/2014

Photo taken on October 11, 2010

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Photo replaced on September 22, 2014
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Are you looking at me?

Are you looking at me?
This little fellow stopped me in my tracks with his "spoof" eyes as he hung in mid-air in the middle of a web between a tree and a bush. And oddly short legs on one side. Known as the Common Garden Orb-web spider (Araneus Diadematus) and prolific at this time of the year.

To begin with, the 3rd pair of legs (second from the top when resting upside down!) is usually shorter than the others, amongst other things to aid in the spider's manoeuvrability in the web, and the construction of the web itself. Watch a spider spin a web, it is interesting how all the legs are co-ordinated and utilised in constructing the web.

It is also a fact that the courtship ritual of Araneus diadematus is not usually a cordial process, with loss of limb(s) or part thereof often occurring in both male and female. The male has to be very careful when entering the web not to be mistaken for prey. One such encounter seen recently ended with the male only giving it up as a bad job after the loss of two limbs to the female, who then proceeded to wrap them in silk, presumably as a meal for later.

Some species of spider are also able to shed limbs in certain circumstances and regenerate new ones thereafter, although I do not know if A. Diadematus is able to do this. (With thanks to Wild About Britain website).

Techy stuff: Late afternoon to get the low sun. These spiders are about 1" (2.5cm) long.

Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen
Wow, what a beautiful shot.
4 years ago.
Steve Banks has replied to Jaap van 't Veen
Thanks, Jaap, you're very kind.
4 years ago.