This morning, I visited my Queenstown Secondary School observatory - expecting to find our juvenile Nephila. She was gone. But I found another twig spider - Miagrammopes. So I watched her some, gently nudged her to watch how she responded and in general, just enjoyed her quite time.
A closer view where the femoral trichobothria (vertical white hairs that act as wind sensors) can be fainly seen.
Here she is almost vertically oriented. Easily seen are the two front legs and one eye. It is surprising that her front leg length almost equals that of her cephalothorax + abdomen.
She moved away from the vine
She has reversed orientation and her front legs now point toward the vine. Other legs are more visible.
Another close view where you can barely see the strand held by hew claw (left side of the photo).
Her legs again - this requires a bit of patience and a gentle nudge
Here I think she is adjusting the tension of her single strand web
Another close view
Pure camouflage - looking at her dorsal side from below
and a closer look
Back to the twig position
Not great focus but here she is manipulating the single strand. I believe she is increasing the tension (removing slack)
Crawling back to her home position
Apparently she captures prey by starting with a slack strand of cribellate silk. She gathers the silk into a bundle (shown here) which pulls the strand taut. When an insect collides with the strand, she releases the bundle which apparently helps tangle the prey. A better description is here
A closer view
Now she reverses her orientation
C. Frank Starmer