Thursday 14 August 2014

A glimpse of Zygiella mating

 By chance while in the garden a couple of days ago, I spotted two small spiders near each other, which immediately attracted my attention. The smaller spider, which I could now see it was a male, proceeded to approach the passive female and insert one of his palps in her epigyne. After a few seconds, he retreated and repeated the process with the other palp. The translucent inflated palp is just visible in the photo above, where the female is on the right. A gust of wind separated the spiders and, despite the male's apparent efforts to find her partner, thus ended their affair. The female now rested atop a flower stem and I could watch and identify her by the pale leaf pattern on her back and ringed legs: a missing sector orb web spider, Zygiella x-notata.
 Given how slow spider courtship may be, in particular the slow initial male's approach to an often aggressive female, I count myself lucky to have witnessed the mating of yet another spider in the garden.
The female Zygiella x-notata

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