Posts Tagged ‘bird-eating spiders’
The warning has gone out to family and friends who are visiting. Nephi is looking for a cool, dark place to lay her eggs. She went into search mode three days ago and is still seeking the perfect nursery for her progeny. We’ll have to tread carefully so as not to squash the heavily bodied female walking slowly through the house.
Nephi is short for Nephila pilipes (syn maculata) the Golden Orb Spider and the world’s largest 2-dimensional wheel-web weaver. Her web fibres are believed to be the toughest substance weight-for-weight known to humankind, tougher than Kevlar and now being pursued for climbing ropes and bullet-proof vests.
I really enjoyed Carl Portman’s latest book about his travels to the Daintree Rainforest in tropical North Queensland, Australia.
Carl has a light hearted whimsical style that endears him to the reader and he maintains a high quality mix of fauna and people, with a leaning towards his favourite arachnids, Australian culture, balancing relationships with his travel mates, and insights into all aspects of North Queensland.
Funny, the things that you see in nature, like this humanoid face on the cephalothorax of a golden orb-weaver, Nephila pilipes.
I have previously described aspects of this spectacular species of spider, here and here. With this instalment, the adult female in the image below descended from her web on the 19th April to build her egg-sac on the ceramic-tiled floor of our living room. Read the rest of this entry »
Take a long look into the face of the world’s largest two-dimensional wheel-web weaving spider: The Golden Orb-weaver (Nephila pilipes).
The red appendages, projecting forward from the head region, are sensory organs called palps. They detect scent, sound and vibration. Between them are the powerful chelicerae; made up of the base segment and the fangs. Above, the cephalothorax houses six eyes with a three-dimensional outlook.
Gigantism in these animals correlates with increased temperature, so I suppose it is inevitable that we should all enjoy a closer familiarity in this anthropogenically-exacerbated interglacial warming period.