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Archive for June 22nd, 2016

A post from Chris on a worrying observation …

Wild Bird Conservation

A female Palm Spider in her web, photographed on Bird Island, May 2016 A female Palm Spider in her web, photographed on Bird Island, May 2016

During my two-year residence in Seychelles in the early 1970s I was forever finding myself entangled in the huge sticky webs of Palm Spiders (Nephila inaurata). The female spiders are large, with dark brown bodies up to 3 centimetres long and long spindly legs, banded orange and black, giving the spider a total span of around 12 centimetres. The webs could each reach a span of over three metres in diameter and sometimes extending over seven metres. These enable the females to catch their prey but the much smaller males, and even some other small spider species, also live on the webs and capitalise on the insects and other prey that are caught. Bushes, tall trees and artificial structures were used by the spiders to support their webs. Such was the spiders’ abundance that almost…

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