X marks the spot.


Argiope aemula

We return to the Argiope spiders today, with this ventral shot of a different species in the genus, the Argiope aemula or the Oval St.Andrew’s Cross Spider. Unlike the distinctive pentagonal abdomens of their cousins the anasujas, the aemula spiders have an oval abdomen, making them easily distinguishable. The shape and the unique patterns are more obvious on the dorsal side of the abdomen though. When fully mature, the aemula females are also a bit larger in size than their cousins.

Once you get past how hairy the spider is, you may notice how vivid and colourful the spider is. After all, if bald can be beautiful, surely the hirsute stand a chance as well! The pink/maroon opening that you see at the tip of the abdomen are the spider’s spinnerets, and the little dark protrusion at the base of the abdomen are the lung openings. The head (displayed at the bottom) is covered by pedipalps, which function as a spider’s hands. Usually, the most relaible way of determining the sex of a spider is by observing the pedipalps… they are usually slender and tapering in females, and dark and enlarged in the otherwise punier males.

There’s overcompensation everywhere, I suppose.

Metadata Canon Powershot G11. ISO 80. f/4.0 at 1/250 second. Edited using Picasa 3.8 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.
Taken in November 2010 at my workplace in Bommasandra, Bangalore, India.

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