Argiope Spider Female
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
I shot this picture today morning in the park in front of my house. The Argiope female was quite big in size and it stayed unmoved while I took its pictures from both sides. This is the upper view showing the thorax and the colourful abdomen. Hope you like it.
The genus Argiope includes rather large and spectacular spiders that have often a strikingly coloured abdomen. These are well distributed throughout the world, and most countries in temperate or warmer climates have one or more species, which look similar.
In North America, Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the "black and yellow garden spider", or "writing spider," after the mistaken idea web stabilimenta were correspondence. Stabilimenta are conspicuous lines or spirals of silk, included by many diurnal spiders at the centre of their otherwise cryptic webs. It has been shown spider webs using stabilimenta catch, on average, 34% fewer insects than those without. However, webs with the easily-visible markings are damaged far less frequently by birds flying through the web. It is an evolutionary tradeoff the spider can influence every time it builds a new web. The inclusion of stabilimenta is influenced by many factors, including prey density and web location.
In England, Argiope bruennichi, where it is found only on the southern coast, and in other parts of Europe, including Germany, is also known as the wasp spider. The East Asian species Argiope amoena is known in Japan as kogane-gumo. In Australia, Argiope keyserlingi and A. aetherea are known as St. Andrew's Cross spiders, for their habit of resting in the web with legs outstretched in the shape of an X, the cross of St. Andrew. The large white zigzag in the centre of its web is called the stabilimentum or web decoration.
The average orb web is practically invisible, and it is easy to blunder into one and end up covered with a sticky web. The very easily visible pattern of banded silk made by Argiope is pure white, and some species make an "X" form, or a zigzag type of web (often with a hollow centre). The spider then aligns one pair of its legs with each of the four lines in the hollow "X," making a complete "X" of white lines with a very eye-catching spider colored bright yellow on a field of black or variegated red white and yellow stripes forming its centre. The white patterns are called stabilimentum and reflect UV light. They have been shown to play a role in attracting prey to the web, and possibly to prevent its destruction by large animals. The centres of their large webs are often just under 1 meter above the ground, so they are too low for anything much larger than a rabbit to walk under. The overtness of the spider and its web thus has been speculated to prevent larger creatures from accidentally destroying the web and possibly crushing the spider underfoot.
Other studies suggest that as the stabilimenta may actually lead predators to the spider, species such as A. keyserlingi place their web predominantly in closed, complex habitats such as among sedges. As Argiope sit in the centre of their web during the day, they have developed several other responses to predators, such as dropping off the web, retreating to the periphery of the web, or even rapidly pumping the web in bursts of up to 30 seconds, similar to the motion done by the unrelated Pholcus phalangioides.
The male spider is much smaller than the female, and unassumingly marked. When it is time to mate, he spins a companion web alongside the female's. After mating, the female lays her eggs, placing her egg sac into the web. The sac contains between 400 and 1,400 eggs. These eggs hatch in autumn, but the spiderlings overwinter in the sac and emerge during the spring. The egg sac is composed of multiple layers of silk and designed to protect its contents from damage; however, many species of insects have been observed to parasitise the egg sacs.
Like almost all other spiders, Argiope are harmless to humans. Like most garden spiders they eat insects, and are capable of consuming prey up to twice their size. A. savigny was even reported to occasionally feed on the small bat Rhynchonycteris naso. They might bite if grabbed, but other than for defense they have no interest in biting humans. Their venom is not regarded as a serious medical problem for humans, although they often contain a library of polyamine toxins with potential as therapeutic medicinal agents.
Janice, boreocypriensis, matatur, anel, PaulH, uleko, Argus, iris, goatman04 has marked this note useful
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- [2008-09-30 0:41]
Hello Sir, We are neighbor today. You are lucky to have this shot from both the sides. The one shot by me and vignesh was something different but one side was not approachabe. Striking colors and lovely focus. Ganesh
- [2008-09-30 1:58]
Good one Ram - your pretty spider looks a lot bigger than my spider.
It has amazing colours and patterns. And the web is very easy to recognise too.
Excellent sharp image - well done
Hi Ram Sir, what an immaculate macro capture of this Argiope spider showing all parts of the body with great clarity. It is nice to see it,naturally, on its natural web:) forming an X-shape. Wonderful capture indeed. Have a nice day!
A fine capture of a "cross" spider in characteristic posture Ram, its dorsal pattern details are perfectly depicted here my friend. one wonders though, why you did not go for an f/8-11 to deepen the DOF, so all the legs would be finely focused?
- [2008-09-30 2:50]
Hello Ram a lovely shot you got here the sharpness is fine and nicey composed with great background .
Best regards Siggi
- [2008-09-30 5:03]
Wonderful photo of a wonderful spider. Sharpness and colours are amazing. Great composition. Beautiful BG.
Hi Ram sir,
Very good capture of this spider.I have taken one some days back.Mine is posted here
- [2008-09-30 5:31]
Superb Macro...nice POV&Composition.
- [2008-09-30 5:42]
Excellent framing and wonderful colours for this Argiope picture. These spiders are really striking and I always thought that because of their yellow coloration they made be quite venomous. You conviced me that it isn't the case.
This spider seems to colonize the whole world. A few years ago, we didn't see it in my country and there it is now too in great number.
Thanks for the beautiful picture and the interesting note
- [2008-09-30 6:48]
Beautiful capture of this argiope. Excellent composition. Good sharpness. Very nice natural colours.
- [2008-09-30 7:38]
a striking looking arachnid you show us here, i particularly like the zig zag in the web behind which points us to the Spider. Very good details and the large aperture emphasises the eye on the body, which is the most beautiful part.
- [2008-09-30 8:01]
Brilliant macro of what I think is one of the most beautiful Spiders. We have 'bumped into' it a couple of times. Excellent focus and great details showing its lovely pattern and colours and I like the zig-zag web. A beautiful pastel background too.
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla
- [2008-09-30 8:39]
Must be great to be able to photograph an Argiope spider where you live Ram.
We have one species recently invaded from the south Europe to become a new species on the Swedish spider list, but I have yet to take a shot of it.
This is a fine dorsal POV taken with excellent sharness against a pleasing BG in this frame-filling image.
Thanks for sharing this beauty,
- [2008-09-30 22:07]
Excellent macro showing splendid details of the spider.I am yet to come across one of this kind.
Very fine DoF and PoV.Fine complimenting BG.
Very well done.
TFS & Cheers
- [2008-10-01 14:20]
very nice macro.
This is an incredible spider!
Sharp and crisp.
- [2008-10-02 6:48]
Hello Sir, This is beautiful. Ganesh
This is a superb capture of this Argiope spider with great colors & detail. Very well done Ram & TFS.