Male and female spiders are not exactly lovey-dovey. The female ends up feeding on the male soon after mating or, in some cases, even before he mates with her.
Posted by Arun
The D-day came when I had gone for spotting vultures at Ramnagara. It was a cloudy morning with slight drizzle when I started climbing Ramadevarabetta. As I started searching for birds in the canopy, all I could find was spiders. Spiders all around -- big ones with equally big webs. They were the wood spiders, the giants themselves. I soon lost count of how many there were. In some areas where the canopy opened up, it was criss-crossed with the spiders and their webs. It was more than I could ask for!
|A sky full of spiders!|
Female Giant Wood Spiders (Nephila maculata) have a white carapace (upper front part) and a black abdomen with yellow longitudinal bands. Their legs are long, thin and black with yellow markings near the joints.
|A female Giant Wood Spider|
|Female and male Black Wood Spiders|
Speaking of sexes, male and female spiders are not exactly the 'lovey-dovey' type. Sexual cannibalism is very common among spiders; that is, the female ends up feeding on the male soon after mating or, in some cases, even before he mates with her. In the case of the giant and the black wood spiders, the males always linger around the female, usually at the edge of her web, waiting for the right opportunity. He gets just enough time to approach, entice and mate with her and make a hasty retreat or risk becoming one of her meals (check out "Safer sex with feeding females: sexual conflict in a cannibalistic spider" at http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/).
Here, among the tiny giants, are the dwarfs -- the males among the females!