(Click on the image to view a higher resolution)
I took this image in November, 2013 in Goa. (Canon 7D, EF 100mm f2,8L IS, f5.6, 1/100, ISO 800)
These guys are tiny! Male spiders measure between 3-6 millimeters and females between 5-10millimeters.
How small is that? For comparison this is an image of a grain of rice. It’s about 8 millimetres long (about the averages size of a spiny backed spider)!
To the naked eye the spider appeared as a tiny dark spot on its web, when viewed through a macro lens, as you can see, it was a different story altogether!
These spiders belong to a large group of spiders known as orb weavers belonging to the family Araneidae.
As the name suggests orb weavers spin webs that are circular. The web is built by first setting up a framework of radial strands. Based on this the spider weaves its spiral strands that eventually gives it its familiar appearance. A sticky glue on the silk is responsible for trapping prey that inadvertently come in contact with the web.
The question a lot of people would like answered: How is it that the spider does not stick to it’s own web?!
The secret here lies in the fact that not all the spider’s silk is sticky. Only the circular fibres have glue. The radial spokes are non sticky and it is on these fibres that the spider will tread when moving around the web!