Under normal conditions, this spider looks a lot less awkward. And its abdomen looks a lot less erm, bulbous. But this was no normal day! Not for the expecting mother, at least. This is a *gravid* spider, one that is carrying lots of ickle spiderlings in its belly, waiting for the right time to spawn.
Cute, huh? Gravid spiders display hibernation-type behaviour, they become sluggish, poorly responsive to pressure stimuli (read: poking them lightly). After a great deal of coaxing did this particular mother-of-millions come out of hiding onto a better-lit edge of her leaf.
I’m having trouble identifying the critter though. Similar looking spiders include: the Gravid Garden Cross Spider? (Araneus diadematus) Gravid Larinioides sclopetarius? (Except, the species is holartic, not exactly typical of South India.) Giant Lichen Orbweaver, Araneus bicentenarius also looks similar. Suggestions welcome.
Metadata Canon Powershot G11. ISO 80. f/3.5 at 1/60 second. Edited using Picasa 3.8 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.
Taken in November 2010 at my workplace, Bommasandra, Bangalore, India.