Before you ask, no, I don’t think a week can go by without a Cross spider or an Argiope post at The Daily Critter. In fact, I think it deserves its own tag from now on.
What I want to show you in this picture is the little round hole in the web just below the abdomen of the critter. In almost all Argiope webs, you’ll find a similar hole, roughly in the centre of the web. Odd as it might seem, this hole is the spider’s escape hatch. The hole is just a bit larger than the spider’s abdomen, which is as large as the spider gets… the legs and the rest are really good and squeezing through.
The moment their web’s disturbed, when an idiot “photographer” like yours truly ends up getting a bit too close for the critter’s comfort, in a flash it ducks through to the other side. And believe it or not, now it’s safe. Anything that has to come at it has to come through the full might of the Orb web, the strong silk, the sticky bits, everything.
Some while some spiders may dive bomb to safety, some like to play it cool, just slipping to the other side when things get all hairy.
Metadata Canon Powershot G11. ISO 80. f/4.5 at 1/125 second. Edited using Picasa 3.8 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.
Taken in December 2010 in Vembar along the coast of the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, India.
PS. If you were to ask me what species this was, I’d be completely baffled. The specimen seen here was tiny, about the same size as a young juvenile. However, the spider was completely devoid of colour, whereas other juveniles are usually a yellowish brown in colour. So is this a different species? Maybe. An albino variant? Perhaps more likely? A variant male spider? I don’t think so, but could be possible.