Sometimes …

… on a very hot day mammals are just not available for sightings on game drives. They hide in the shade of thick bush and are not visible at all.

At such times smaller creatures like spiders can provide beautiful material for wildlife photography.

On Sunday afternoon I took some guests on a drive down ‘spider alley’ and we observed these fascinating creatures waiting patiently for prey or devouring it.

Here are some of the pictures taken of Golden Orb Spiders, Garden Orb Spiders and Bark Spiders.

My guests enjoyed this special arachnid drive very much!

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Strong silk!

I do not know the name of this small (yellow/orange) spider, but it certainly must have potent venom and very strong silk.

As we arrived back at the Thanda Safari Lodge after a very productive morning game drive one of our guests pointed at a small spider and a honey bee seemingly floating in the air. When we looked closer it became clear that the spider was holding the dead bee firmly with its pedipalps while slowly pulling itself and its prey up to a branch by a silk strand.

Sometimes the ‘small sightings’ are even more fascinating than the big ones!

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The Green Mamba and the Spider

Occasionally a Bark Spider decides to span its web across a road. If I see it in time (before driving through it) I always stop and show this fascinating creature and its ‘hunting tool’ to my guests. Once we had a good look I ‘cut’ the anchor line and the base line of the web.

The spider, now hanging with his web material from one tree only, eats up the remaining silk to preserve the protein for its next night’s web-building.

Nature is amazing!

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Two days ago we did a short night drive and we saw Spotted Eagle Owls, a White-faced Owl, Side-striped Jackals, a Bush-Baby (Brown Thick-tailed Galagos), a White-tailed Mongoose and a few Bark Spiders, who build every evening precision-webs to catch prey during the night.

The next morning they eat their own webs to preserve the protein for the coming night’s master-building session 😊

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