ECTOTHERM MONDAY – GOLDEN ORB SPIDERS

Golden Orb Spiders sometimes create caches of food for storage to be consumed later. I took this picture of a female spider cocooning a Blister Beetle.

She worked on this storage project while she had two other smaller ‘kills’ in her web, waiting to be eaten.

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Two orbs and an eye!

Today’s images are a bit more “artsy” than my usual wildlife images.

The first is of an Golden Orb Spider on a branch.

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The second is of an Golden Orb Spider at sunrise.

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The third is of an Zebra’s eye just before sunset. (This image is part of my EYES series)

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Enjoy the images!

All three images are part of my “Without the Five” series (images 12-14).

Summer Time – Spider Time

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When the weather gets hot and humid many different species of Golden Orb Spiders build their webs along and across the roads on Thanda. Part of Bheki’s job at this time of the year is to take down the webs across the roads before they reach our guests.

It is good to know that spiders do not like large warm-blooded mammals and therefore avoid any contact with humans. Even in the rare case that one touches Bheki’s fingers it immediately descends and gets away from him. That also means that one can walk or drive safely beneath their webs – they do not drop on people 🙂

These beautiful creature occur in many color variations.

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More about Golden Orb Spiders:

The Golden Orb Spiders (genus Nephila) are a genus of spiders noted for the impressive webs they weave. Nephila consists of numerous individual species found around the world. They are also commonly called Golden Silk Orb-weavers, Giant Wood Spiders, or Banana Spiders.

Golden Orb Spiders usually reach sizes up to 5.1 cm (2 in) in females, not including leg span, with males being usually 2/3 smaller (less than 2.5 cm, 1 in).

They are the oldest surviving genus of spiders, with a fossilized specimen known from 165 million years ago.

These spiders do not seem to form either beneficial or harmful relationships with humans. An (unlikely) bite causes local pain, redness, and blisters that normally disappear within 24-hours.