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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Bark Spider

When I was going through some if my pictures from the last two weeks I found this image of a Bark Spider, which I liked a lot. Have a good Sunday!

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About Bark Spiders:

Bark Spiders (Genus:Caerostris) are nocturnal orb-web spiders that construct a large orb web, up to 1.5 meters  stretching from one tree to the next. When she is off her web she retires to a branch and packs her legs tightly next to her body and she melts into her surroundings looking like a knot on the branch.

Caerostris are large spiders with females reaching 30 mm in body length. The males are tiny. Its silk is the toughest biological material ever studied, over ten times tougher than a similarly-sized piece of Kevlar.

Love and Bark

Today I got some images of a gorgeous sunset over Thanda. The word Thanda means love in the Zulu language. A very fitting name for a beautiful place.

And while I was driving through some over-grown areas I heard a slight impact on the seat next to me. When I looked I saw, what I first thought was, a small piece of bark of a tree. But when I looked more closely it was a small spider (approx. 2cm or 3/4″) in size. This species is called Darwin’s Bark Spider. It looks exactly like a piece of bark when it pulls its legs in. I took a small stick, let it climb onto the stick and put it back into a tree. The picture below is of a second bark spider I saw later in the day hanging in its web.

More about the Bark Spider:

Darwin’s Bark Spider (Caerostris darwini) is an orb-weaver spider. The species was named in honor of the naturalist Charles Darwin, with the description being prepared precisely 150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species.

Darwin’s Bark spider occurs in Madagascar and some parts of South Africa. It is the architect of the largest web in the world. Webs are woven across entire rivers and span up to 30 square feet.

Its silk is the toughest biological material ever studied, over ten times tougher than a similarly-sized piece of Kevlar.