Found this spider on a school fence, please help identify it.
Hi, this looks like Argiope australis. The big spider is the female, the little one above her is a mature male. Nice shot. 🙂
Thanks, the small one looks like it is a youngone because they were three on the web. Will post another picture from a different angle that captures two small ones
Sounds like a bunch of males vying for the female. The small appendages near the spider’s mouth are enlarged, this is how I know it is a mature male. On mature female and immature spiders of both genders these appendages (pedipalps) are narrow. This is an example of sexual dimorphism (female being many times the size of the mature male which is common in this family of spiders). Edit: Pedipalps are reproductive organs on male spiders. Edit#2: In addition the female already looks gravid.
Thank you so much, I get it now
Do you know why are your edits visible and no one else’s are? We can erase what we wrote in the forum or change it for a limited time after posting it without any visible evidence. As you know, it doesn’t work with original submissions. I like how Bugguide let’s a user preview a posting to edit it before final posting. So, female spiders don’t have pedipalps at all?
I wrote it out that way, I typed out “Edit” for clarity in case he caught the original draft. I posted then immediately remembered more info I wanted to add. Twice. I said females have slender pedipalps.
Of course there’s a couple exceptions to the rule (took me a moment to remember the name), in North America at least there are two genera where the female doesn’t have pedipalps. Gertschanpis shantzi and species in Anapistula.
Thanks, that’s interesting. I bet more females had them millions of years ago then lost them for lack of need so many of sensory organs.