GOLDEN ORB - WEB SPIDER - SPINNEKOP - Family Tetragnathidae

Magriet Meintjes

TOLWE, South Africa

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Captured Location: Groenland Safari’s, Tolwe, Limpopo Province, SOUTH AFRICA
Camera: Nikon D50
Lens: VR 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 G
Focal Length: 55mm
1/500 sec – F/5.6
Sensitivity: ISO 720

Banded-legged Nephila
Subfamily Nephilinae
Golden orb-web spiders
Nephilla senegalensis
WEB: Enormous orb web of strong golden silk.
Spiral capture threads sticky and closely spaced. Web is left in one place for a long time; gets repaired when it gets broken or becomes dusty and loses its stickiness.
Young spider builds complete orb, but as the spider matures the web appears to become misshapen with the hub migrating upwards toward the bridge line. The web is protected by a barrier web at the back and front, and a vertical line of prey remains often left hanging among the trip lines.
VENOM: Not known to be harmful to man.
Distribution: Widespread throughout region.
Description: The female is very large (25-30mm) has a cylindrical abdomen, and black-and-yellow banded legs; the third pair is much shorter than the others. Cephalothorax silvery, abdomen black marked with yellow.
patterns and colour intensity vary.
This spider can be found singly or massed together in such large numbers that their webs overlap one another.
Female usually shares her web with several males. Male much smaller than the female and can weigh up to a thousand times less.
Males may vary in size from individual to individual.
Female lays up to a thousand eggs and can produce up to four egg sacs.
If one looks carefully at the web of N. senegalensis, one will probably also find tiny metallic-coloured dew-drop spiders (Argyrodes spp.) living as kleptoparasites in the large spider’s web. Nephila spp. normally go unnoticed until they reach their full size from midsummer onwards. During this time their large webs, and the femaless’impressive body size, often draw attention. These spiders are sometimes referred to as golden orb-spiders because most of them produce golden silk

Artwork Comments

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