Mar 8, 2008

Spiders by the Sea

As we were leaving Labrador, Marcus pointed out the spiders under the walkway to the jetty. WOW! There were a lot of spiders, with webs draped at every corner.

Each web had one large female spider (left photo)and a much smaller male spider (right photo). You can tell he is a mature male because he has enlarged 'boxing gloves' near his face. These are called palps. Here's more about spiders of Singapore and how to identify them. Marcus says these spiders are the Malabar spider (Nephilengys malabarensis) which are in the family of Golden orb web spiders.

Inside the web of these larger spiders are lots of tiny little red spiders.These little spiders are not the babies of the big spiders. They are another kind of spider, probably the Red Silver Spider (Argyrodes flavescens). These little spiders live on the webs of such big spiders and steal their food!! More about them on the Spiders of Singapore site.

Here's another happy couple, showing the differences in the sizes of the male and female.
The lady seems to be eating something.

The underside of the spider is very colourful!Another female has a VERY large insect (looks like a cicada).
And everyone is waiting patiently nearby to have a turn at the meal; the male at the top right corner, and two tiny little stealing spiders nearby.

Almost every couple had fluffy egg sacs.
In addition, there were little berry-like things suspended in the web too.
Could these be the egg sacs of the stealing spiders?

And there was also one Golden orb web spider.She was rather small, but obviously happy as her web is catching prey.

There's indeed lots to see on a shore, even above the high water mark and in unlikely places such as under a walkway!

Thanks Marcus for sharing this. Have a look at his wonderful closeups of these spider faces and much better photos of these amazing creatures, also on his budak blog

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