A courting pair of spotted orbweavers, Neoscona crucifera. Male on the left, female on the right. Be careful when photographing courting spiders – males approach with a special dance to let her know he’s a mate, not food. An errant vibration can result in disaster.
I like this photo, it looks like a circus act. I agree about not interfering with mating. I might have done that once while taking photos of spiders in a mating ritual. The female kept rejecting the male until he died. The males can die spontaneously after mating attempts through an internal self-destruct mechanism. That gives the female extra nutrition . Maybe if the male tries too long this can happen also.
It was quite interesting to watch. I wish I would have caught it all on video. He was doing his ritual dance and came up to her tapping on her sides. They definitely mated for a brief time and then he was dead. It happened pretty fast. It looked like she attacked him.
I’m glad you got to see it. I wish I filmed any of the courting rituals I’ve seen. The nicest was a pair of young Cellar Spiders. They faced each other and used most of their legs to tickle or stroke each other’s legs. There was lots of long translucent legs making forward wave motions that looked pretty in bright light. House Spiders, Parasteatoda, aren’t so classy. I saw a female accept every male, sometimes 2 on her at the same time. A spider fist fight broke out between the males in the waiting line. 😉