Friday, January 27, 2012

Gea spinipes



This is a rather common spider found around grasses and low shrubs. Their webs are hardly more than 1 foot from the ground, often decorated with stabilimenta. The genus Gea (family Araneidae) is closely related to Argiope (often called St Andrew's Cross) and the more uncommon Neogea. Females can reach up to 11mm which makes them easy to spot and photographed. Sexual dimorphism is not as extreme although males are significantly smaller.

This spider has an extensive range throughout the tropics with records even in India. I often found then in large numbers among long grasses along trails, even nearby human settlements. Approaching one is considered easy as they do not easily startled. At most, the spider will move to the other side of the web in a flash.



So far I found them to be diurnal. They are especially easy to find in the morning following a raining night. The webs will be covered with water droplets, making them visible from quite a distance.


This one was seen moulting during daytime, about 11am or so, in a forest not far from Kuala Lumpur.






Small flying and hopping insects seem to be their main prey. Usually I found plant hoppers being caught and in one incident I saw an Aedes mosquito being devoured.

A contrast in size between sexes can be gauged from the video below.

video

3 comments:

  1. That kind of colours and wildreness beauty you can find just in pacific oasys

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  2. Hi Amir

    This is Khen Lim. We meet back some years ago at Shah Alam where the Chiaroscuro Group did its first outing. I remember you being there. I'm very impressed with this blog of yours and just write to congratulate you and keep the good work going. I'm also absolutely sure you're more than ready to up the ante and head towards OM-D where the light that shines from up above is simply irresistible. Do yourself a favour - add an "M" to your E-5. What do you get? E-M5.

    Anyway feel free to write back if you like at khen@zonetenphotography.net. For an "amateur arachnologist," you're quite a piece of work! :)

    Cheers, man.

    K.

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  3. Hi Khen, of course I remember. I agree that the E-M5 is an awesome little beast but the current available 4/3 macro lenses do not autofocus well on micro 4/3, apart from the box-AF instead of point-AF. I will be looking forward to see how the upcoming M.ZD 60mm macro will do.

    p/s: I need to add an M and remove 2 zeroes.

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