Saturday, November 19, 2022

Pic(k) of the Week: Close encounters of the arachnid kind

Close encounters of the arachnid kind

A Jorō near-miss (in Legacy Park: Decatur, Georgia, USA, 12 November 2022).

It was a foggy early morning on the forest trail. I didn't see the expansive web —or its spinster— until I was about to run into it. I quickly ducked.

Backlit, the web might not have been visible in a photo and the spider, merely a silhouette. So, I popped up the in-camera flash. Not expecting this situation, I wasn't carrying a diffuser and the image might be a bit hot. Nonetheless, the arachnid appears well-limned in all her colorful glory.

As to the arachnid...
Trichonephila clavata —also known as the Jorō spider (ジョロウグモ)— is a member of the Trichonephila genus. The spider can be found throughout Japan (except Hokkaidō), Korea, Taiwan, and China. The spider is also an introduced species in North America —first spotted, in 2013, in northeast Georgia and northwest / upstate South Carolina. It is believed that the species will become naturalized over much of the eastern seaboard of the United States due to its relative imperviousness to the cold.

The adult female's body size is 2/3 to 1 inch (17–25 mm), while the male's is 1/4 to 2/5 inches (7–10 mm). The adult female individual has stripes of yellow and dark blue, with red toward the rear of the abdomen. The web of females may reach several meters in length. In sunlight, the yellow threads appear to be a rich gold color. In autumn, the smaller males may be seen in the webs for copulating. After mating, the female spins an egg sack on a tree, laying 400 to 1,500 eggs in one sack. Her lifecycle ends by late autumn or early winter with the death of the spider. The next generation emerges in spring.

Although the spider is not aggressive, it will bite to protect itself. The bite is considered painful, but not life-threatening.

  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of images posted on Saturdays, and occasionally, but not always (as is the case today), with a good fermentable as the subject.
  • Photo 47 of 52, for year 2022. See it at Flickr: here.
  • Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 II.
      • Lens: Olympus M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R
      • Settings: 41 mm | 1/250 sec | ISO 200 | ƒ/5.6
      • Flash, on-camera: 1/2.5

    • For more from YFGF:

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