Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Garden Orb Weaver Spider- Sydney, Australia

Photograph of a Garden Orb Weaver Spider taken in Sydney, Australia
Garden Orb-weaver Spider (Eriophora transmarina) - Sydney, Australia

I took the macro lens out over the weekend hoping to photograph some spiders in the garden. I found a number of Garden Orb Weavers in the shrubs along the driveway and spent some time photographing them. The fact that they spend a lot of time under their webs made the whole task a lot harder.

More photographs inside.

Photograph of a Garden Orb Weaver Spider taken in Sydney, Australia
 Garden Orb-weaver Spider (Eriophora transmarina) - Sydney, Australia

Garden Orb-weavers are common, non venomous spiders found in Australia. They are usually brightly coloured and vary in terms of size, shape and colour within Australia. They are nocturnal feeders and weave their webs in the evenings. One of the spiders I saw over the weekend was actually in the process of weaving its web. It was interesting to actually see how the spider set about creating such an intricate web.

Photograph of a Garden Orb Weaver Spider taken in Sydney, Australia
Garden Orb-weaver Spider (Eriophora transmarina) - Sydney, Australia

I had been trying to figure out how spiders actually sets about creating a web across a void when I came found an article which actually described the process. Apparently the spiders use air/wind to spread the initial line across a void. The spider is said to move to a vantage point and raise its abdomen and release a steady stream of silk from it's spinnerets. The wind will then pick up the silk and carry it until it snags on a solid object. Once the initial strand is firmly snagged, the spider will move out along it to build the web.

Photograph of a Garden Orb Weaver Spider taken in Sydney, Australia
Garden Orb-weaver Spider (Eriophora transmarina) - Sydney, Australia

Interestingly the Orb-Weavers build a web every night and then remove it at dawn, unlike some other spiders who stay in the web day and night. Apparently the reason for this behaviour is predator avoidance. Although the "orb" section of the web disappears, some of the support lines will be left in place. During the day the spiders "hide" near a location where these support lines meet a solid object.

Photograph of a Garden Orb Weaver Spider taken in Sydney, Australia
Garden Orb-weaver Spider (Eriophora transmarina) - Sydney, Australia

These photographs were taken with the Canon 7D and the 100mm macro lens. The lighting was again from a Canon 430EX II fired at 1/8th from high (relatively) camera left. Like with the photograph of the Weaver Ants the strobe was handheld. It's not the easiest thing to do when you are trying to lock focus using a macro lens!


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