In The Garden


Taken at Enkosini, South Africa

With only 6 spiders that may be harmful to people in Southern Africa, it’s a wonderful place to explore the world of arachnids.

Seen here is a Garden Orb Spider in its web with a white zig-zag known as a stabilimentum. The reasoning behind the structure of stabilimenta is debated. The name came from the initial thought that it stabilised the web but this has since been dismissed. The current thought is that it makes the web more visible and therefore animals such as birds are less liekly to destroy it when flying nearby. Recently a theory has come about suggesting it reflects ultraviolet light and this, being attractive to many insects, attracts more food to the web.

Alex Tweedie

 

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