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Orb weavers and grasshoppers

Saturday, September 30, 2006 | 0 comments

Read the previous part of this blog entry in Butterflies, and scorpion clues.

We kept walking under the pine trees in the forest close to Coacoatzintla. Suddenly my attention was drawn to a small spiny orb weaver. Some wind made the web and the yellow colored spider in it move a lot, so it was very difficult to get a good picture, but I think I managed.

A yellow colored spinybacked orb weaver (Gasteracantha species)
A yellow colored spinybacked orb weaver (Gasteracantha species)

The web was at an angle of roughly 45 degrees to the vertical, so I moved under the web and took a few pictures of the spinybacked orb weaver up. Nearby I almost bumped into another orb weaver, this time an Argiope species. The large female was resting on top of her recently captured prey: a grasshopper, based on the visible hind legs.

Orb weaver, Argiope sp., female with prey.
Orb weaver, Argiope sp., female with prey.

After I took a few pictures of this large spider, the male (much smaller) appeared, and I took several photos of both spiders close to each other.

More pictures of Argiope species. Click a thumbnail to see the entire and larger image.

In a nearby shrub we found another spiny orb weaver, this one had much larger spines. Esme mentioned that it looked like it was wearing a skirt. This specimen was quite small and it took quite some patience to get some good close-up pictures.

Pictures of Gasteracantha species. Click a thumbnail to see the entire and larger image.

Esme and I continued our walk between the pine trees. I suddenly saw some movement on the forest floor, and discovered a big, clumsy grasshopper. I carefully let it climb on my hand. It had no problem resting on my finger tips, and I was able to take a few pictures.

A large grasshopper on my finger tips.
A large grasshopper on my finger tips.

To be continued.

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