Tangled Webs

I recently saw the large and rather fantastic tropical orb weaver Eriophora ravilla hiding in some leaves on the side of a trail. As you can see below, it’s a very cool find. At the same time, any new discovery has the potential to open up a can of worms. First, it was a bit tricky to identify this spider because it comes in a variety of colors, so more than half of the photos of this species that I found online don’t look too much like it. Second, the male is smaller and looks considerably different, sometimes much like a spider from the Eustala genus, which is making me wonder if some spiders I had previously assumed were Eustala are in fact the males of this species.

As usual, there are many mysteries and few easy answers.

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One Response to “Tangled Webs”

  1. Grand Case Spiders and Everything Else | Les Fruits De Mer Says:

    […] A bit away from the edge of the pond, I found another of what I think is Eriophora ravilla, a large, robust orb-weaver that I usually see hiding in the leaves at one corner of its web. This one has a strikingly different color than the last one I saw. […]