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Arachnid Courtship

Arachnid Courtship
Photo Information
Copyright: Alan Cassidy (accassidy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 162 W: 119 N: 596] (2454)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-09
Categories: Spiders
Camera: Nikon D80, Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED AF-S VR, 72mm UV
Exposure: f/9.5, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-01-03 10:40
Viewed: 4126
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Nephila clavata Koch, 1878. Family: Tetragnathidae

I saw many of these stunning spiders in Japan last November. Females and their webs are prolific in almost all habitats, rural and urban. I have chosen this picture because it has both sexes. As the notes below say, the smaller males approach the females for mating in Autumn - even as late as November as shown here.

The picture has been treated in CS3 to remove noise from the BG, cropped, resized and sharpened for TN.


Nephila clavata is a member of golden orb-web spider group. It can be found throughout Japan except Hokkaidō, in Korea, Taiwan and China. Due to the large size and bright colours, of female of the species is well-favored in Japan.

Nephila clavata pass winter as eggs and scatter as tiny larvae in the spring. The female's body size is 17-25 mm, while the male's is 7-10 mm.

The web of female Nephila can reach one meter in width; the yellow threads appear rich gold in sunlight. The adult female individual has stripes of yellow and dark blue, and adds red around the spinneret. In autumn, smaller male(s) come into the female's web for mating. After pairing the female spins an egg sack on a tree, laying 400 - 1500 eggs in one sack. The spiders' life cycle ends by late autumn or early winter.

Researchers at Shinshu University, Japan have succeeded in creating a silk thread that is stronger, softer and more durable than conventional silk by genetically modifying silkworms with Nephilia drag line genes. A Japanese manufacturer is already experimenting with the thread, and spider socks, stockings and even fishing lines are expected to appear on the market within a few years. (Wikipedia!)

taba, Royaldevon, fiyo, earthtraveler has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • taba Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 466 W: 124 N: 312] (1847)
  • [2008-01-03 11:28]

Hi Alan
nice capture and composition with the male and female of the spider.
I like the BG and the very good sharpness of the spiders, as the POV where we can see the different size of the insects...
well done.

Hello Alan,

Spiders are fascinating!
It is strange that in this animal, the females are so much bigger than the males, a contradiction to almost all other types.
You have achieved good sharpness and detail, an interesting combination of both sexes and good composition.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2008-01-03 14:01]

Hello Alan,
This is a very beautiful picture with very good details and sharpness. Well done.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-01-03 14:12]

Woow Alan ,perfect spider composition,i like a lot the perfect sharpness and colours of the big spider body,very perfect work,thanks for share,Luciano

Hi Alan,
fine colorful detail here of the spiders.
Nice composition and pleasing BG color.
TFS, Richard

hello alan,
lovely shot, the male and the female spiders have been captured together, liked the pov and the composition,
tfs & regards

Hi Alan, splendid couple of beautiful spider with wonderful colors and great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

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