Orbweb Spiderling 1

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Extra Large
14.0" x 9.3"
Large
8.5" x 5.7"
Medium
5.5" x 3.7"
Small
4.0" x 2.7"

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  • Removable, individually die-cut vinyl
  • Ideal for smooth flat surfaces like laptops, journals, windows, etc.
  • 1/8th of an inch white border around each design

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Artist's Description

13_12_2016
Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Location: My bathroom court-yard garden, Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa
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I was SO excited when I discovered an Orb-web spiderling (Nephila senegalensis – Banded-legged nephila), just 3cm from the tip of her front legs to the tips of the hind legs, in my garden this morning! – she had just anchored here lines between a Cape Reed Grass spike and the one pillar of the patio when I took the picture and when I returned half an hour later, she had started on her wheel, complete with the typical thick zig-zag lines in the centre.

During the process of making an orb web, the spider will use its own body for measurements.

Many webs span gaps between objects which the spider could not cross by crawling. This is done by letting out a first fine adhesive thread to drift on the faintest breeze across a gap. When it sticks to a suitable surface at the far end, the spider will carefully walk along it and strengthen it with a second thread. This process is repeated until the thread is strong enough to support the rest of the web.

After strengthening the first thread, the spider will continue to make a Y-shaped netting. The first three radials of the web are now constructed. (the “Y”-thread can be seen in the pic below by her hind legs). More radials are added, making sure that the distance between each radial is small enough to cross. This means that the number of radials in a web directly depends on the size of the spider plus the size of the web.

After the radials are complete, the spider will fortify the centre of the web with about five circular threads. Then a spiral of non-sticky, widely spaced threads is made for the spider to easily move around its own web during construction, working from the inside out. Then, beginning from the outside in, the spider will methodically replace this spiral with another, more closely spaced one of adhesive threads. It will utilize the initial radiating lines as well as the non-sticky spirals as guide lines. The spaces between each spiral will be directly proportional to the distance from the tip of its back legs to its spinners. This is one way the spider will use its own body as a measuring/spacing device. While the sticky spirals are formed, the non-adhesive spirals are removed as there is no need for them anymore.

Many orb-weavers build a new web each day. I have often watched this process. Generally, towards evening, the spider will consume the old web, rest for approximately an hour, then spin a new web in the same general location. Thus, the webs of orb-weavers are generally free of the accumulation of detritus common to other species such as black widow spiders.

In South Africa, the family Araneidae includes 40 genera of master weavers. This is one of the families referred to as the orb-web spiders.

The spider’s touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.

~Alexander Pope


16th February 2012 – FEATURED in Mozambique
4th March 2012 – Placed in the TOP 10 of the challenge NEW $20 AVATAR CHALLENGE FOR MARCH 2012! in ‘Mozambique’
17th February 2017 – FEATURED in “African Art and Photography”

Artwork Comments

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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