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Golden silk orb-weaver spider

Nephila

Description:

Nephila spiders vary from reddish to greenish yellow in color with distinctive whiteness on the cephalothorax and the beginning of the abdomen. Like many species of the superfamily Araneoidea, they have striped legs specialized for weaving (where their tips point inward, rather than outward as is the case with many wandering spiders). Their contrast of dark brown/black and green/yellow allows warning and repelling of potential predators to whom their venom might be of little danger.

Habitat:

they weave their webs in bushes and near flowers, they might present a nuisance for gardeners or flower pickers. Some nests near fruits may repel known pests, such as the fruit fly, without the need to use insecticides.

Notes:

The name of the golden silk orb-weavers refers to the colour of the spider silk, not the colour of the spider itself. Yellow threads of their web shine like gold in sunlight. Xanthurenic acid, two quinones and an unknown fourth compound contribute to the yellow color. Experimental evidence suggests that the silk's color may serve a dual purpose: sunlit webs ensnare bees that are attracted to the bright yellow strands, whereas in shady spots the yellow blends in with background foliage to act as a camouflage. The spider is able to adjust pigment intensity relative to background light levels and colour; the range of spectral reflectance is specifically adapted to insect vision.

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Roxanne
Spotted by
Roxanne

4275, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Jan 20, 2012
Submitted on Jan 20, 2012

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