Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The female goldensilk orbweaver and her mate

We are having a wet season here in south Florida. That is the understatement of the year. It seems constant storms and rain are the norm these days, not to mention the high wind speeds coming out of the east. All this makes getting out on Biscayne Bay very difficult and when there is a small window of opportunity, I jump on it. Last Sunday, I had an opportunity with mostly overcast skies, but calm conditions for a change.

After an hour at the bird rookery where I didn't manage to capture any keeper images, I decided to explore the mangroves and  head into one of the creeks where I hoped to find my favorite spider, the goldensilk orbweaver. About this time of year is prime for these spiders and many can be seen overhead when drifting through a mangrove tunnel. The lighting was perfectly diffused from the cloud cover, and with use of the flash, I might have some luck finding a spider with clear background (as I look upwards). For more info on my technique for photographing the spider, see my previous blog from two years ago.

Today, almost every female orbweaver had a mate with her. The female is easily seen, while her mate, a fraction of her size is not so easy to see. Next to the female, the little  male looks so puny. The female is grand and lovely. So with cloud-cover sky (lending a perfect background), angled light from the sun and my flash, I captured some photos of the couples. I offer here three photos of three different pairs. Note the abdomen of each female spider and how it differs in shape and size. The spider in the photo above is strikingly larger than the other two.

Can't wait to get back out there with the goldensilk orbweaver. Enjoy!

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