Sunday, October 30, 2011

Female Joro Spider

These beauties are everywhere around here. They particularly like to build their webs across trails, so if you're hiking in the woods in Shikoku be sure to bring a stick to whack the threads out of your way. Otherwise you'll be left trying to extricate yourself from the sticky coating of web stretched across your forehead.

Tell-tale signs that you're looking at Nephila clavata: yellow and green-gray patterned back — bright red tipped abdomen — and black and yellow legs.

Here's a view from the other side:
There's also a marked sexual dimorphism, the male being about a third or fourth of the size of the female:
The spider makes a horseshoe orb web with threads radiating out from both the front and back creating a kind of triple boxed kite-like structure.

This female will lay her eggs on the underside of a leaf or stick or on the side of a building. Apparently all of the adults die off in the winter.

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