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Taken 12-Mar-13
6 of 23 photos

Golden Silk Orb-weaver Spider

Golden orb-weavers can grow to be the size of your hand, with some species having a leg span of five inches (13 cm). These fascinating arachnids spin huge webs up to three feet (one meter) wide and strong enough to trap snakes, birds and bats!

Golden orb-weavers get their name from the silk they use to build their semi-permanent webs. In sunlight, the strands shine like gold and attract bees, while in the shade the color blends into the foliage around the web, acting like camouflage. Cooler still, the spider can actually change the color of the web pigment while weaving it, so that it will match the background light. And not only that, but the silk contains a chemical compound called pyrrolidine alkaloid, which effectively deters ants.