Friday, June 19, 2009

A spider in our midst

I've always found the geometry of a spider's web fascinating and was delighted to stumble upon this one today. For a moment i thought it was a really big spider, but quickly realised - it is a spider holding a dead cockroach/moth/butterfly! I was quite taken by the markings on its body and the four symmetrical solid markings on its web - looks like a trapeze artist doesn't it? Turns out these are called 'web decorations' or stabilimenta. I'm not quite sure what the function of the stabilimenta is; if you are an arachnologist please do comment!


Anonymous said...

the spider in your blog is the Striped Cross / Striped Fourleg (Argiope aemula) -- not as common as the Common Cross (A. anasuja); I've seen the former only once in my house in Tambaram.

flowergirl said...

Thanks for the link Arati!

This one has even more impressive stabilimenta than the one I saw: