The day before yesterday Squiddy came and tapped on our window. She had discovered a spider that we had both been hoping to find some day, but which had so far eluded us. It was a female Leucauge dromedaria, commonly known as a humped silver orb spider. It belongs to the long-jawed orb weavers and is native to New Zealand, Australia, and also some South Pacific Islands. She was quite happy to explore a branch of swan plant (Gomphocarpus physocarpus), a southeast African variety of milkweed which is, by far the universally-preferred food plant here for our many Monarch butterfly caterpillars. As usual, if you’d like a more detailed view, just click on one of the photos.
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- A Fondness for Ferns
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A silver spider .. how cool!
Indeed–in the right light that reflective abdomen looks like polished silver or crystal.
It reminds me of our orchard orb weaver. I think it’s the legs — and that ‘funny’ body shape. It’s very attractive.
Thanks, Linda, it was a very rewarding encounter. The shape is unusual, to be sure, but there are many much-more-bizarre ones. And yes, the long, delicate legs–it was fascinating to watch her exploring the new environment with such agility. She shot out at least four lines with the various breezes while I was with her, in four different directions.
You got lots of nice details in these portraits.
Thanks for that, Steve. Her patience matched mine for the better part of an hour, and I had quite a few from which I could distill what I was hoping for.
What a bizarre, wonderful critter! Looks like it’s wearing a backpack!
So right. I shudder when I see the bookbags the local school kids haul back and forth (they pointedly do not call them backpacks), which seem to weigh about half as much as the little persons carrying them. In this age of technology, how can this be a positive step?
Absolutely wonderful photography, Gary! :)
It surely helps when a new potential star cooperates like this.
Fine shots. Its colouring shows up beautifully.
We were fortunate to have a shady spot protecting us from the brilliant sunshine and out of most of the breeze. And yes, the silver is the most immediately-arresting feature, but the yellows and golds were delightful too.
First off, I love the title. Second, congratulations on Squiddy’s find and the nice shots. Also, what an interesting milkweed pod she has decided to visit. The genus name reminded me of La Cage aux Folles.
Thanks, Steve, I thought you’d appreciate the title. And I hope that the La Cage aux Folles to which you refer is the one that I remember most fondly, the Ennio Marconi production from 1978, not the later one with Robin Williams, although he did it very well too.
Yes, the original. I almost always prefer the original of movies and music.
I echo your “almost always” emphatically.
So nice and precise details taken in the shot. The picture is amazing and fun to watch with these microscopic details