Photo Adventures with Curiosity and Learning

May 1, 2010: Reflections on Argyrodes flavescens mating

This was an amazing morning. The more I looked the less I saw. Finally in desperation, I saw sunlight reflected off a strand of spider silk. Following the strand I found a female Argyrodes flavescens - and at the other end was the male. To the right was an Argiope web. Here is the St. Andrew's Cross spider (Argiope)

may 01 6754 argiope

Here are her eyes

may 01 6760 argyope eyes

A snail without her shell

may 01 6778 wet snail

Snail reflections

may 01 6787 snail reflections

A curious snail

may 01 6794 snail

The male Argyrodes flavescens

may 01 6825 male argyrodes

Its rare to see Argyrodes dragline silk being extruded from her spinneret

may 01 6843 reflections dragline silk glue

Extruding silk from the other direction and a reflection of me and the sky

may 01 6856 reflections of me

An intruder - playing with the silk

may 01 6867 intruder spider


may 01 6870 me reflections

Nearby was a real surprise. A small egg sack with little spiders and mama hiding under the leaf. She is a lynx, maybe: Oxyopes birmanicus

may 01 6877 mama under nest

I spooked her and she dropped down to this limb

may 01 6882 mama hiding

Then she shifted positions

may 01 6890 mama hiding

Here is one of the little ones

may 01 6894 baby coming home

Here is another of the little ones

may 01 6902 baby jumper close

You can get some idea of the size scale

may 01 6902 baby jumper

Meanwhile back with the Argyrodes they were playing the mating game, sort of

may 01 6910 argyrodes reflections me

More reflections. I so rarely see one large enough to capture the reflections that I took many many exposures

may 01 6913 reflections

MOre reflections and you can see the glue drops on her dragline silk

may 01 6915 argyrodes reflection

Extruding silk

may 01 6917 female argyrodes reflection

Looking at me

may 01 6923 looking at me

In comes the male (on the right)

may 01 6928 approach

A brief encounter

may 01 6930 mating dance

And he leaves while she returns to extruding strands of silk

may 01 6933 argyrodes reflection me

And I"m trying to get good reflections

may 01 6938 argyrodes reflection

The male - lok at how long are his palps

may 01 6943 male argyrodes

When you spook them, they draw their legs around themselves

may 01 6952 defensive legs

And, if I am calm, the unwind their legs and return to extruding silk

may 01 6964 guiding silk

ANother view

may 01 6968 female argyrodes dragline

Attaching, maybe

may 01 6975 female argyrodes


may 01 6976 female argyrodes

The male - not much depth of field, unfortunately. Shooting at ISO 400, f/8 and 1/125 sec.

may 01 6982 male palps

Male Argyrodes flavescens

may 01 6986 male argyrodes

Mama hiding

may 01 6987 mama hiding

After my macro shoot I visit the Margaret Drive food court and have lime juice from theses folks

may 01 6993 lime juice stall

This lady speaks no English and I speak no Mandarin, but we communicate quite well - ordering lime juice and sharing photos

may 01 6997 lime juice lady

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer