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Old Aug 11, 2010, 8:14 AM   #1
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Yesterday afternoon, I was outside with the Bigma shooting at the front of my house and saw a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on the backside of my butterfly bush. I moved my lawn chair to the other side of the bush and sat to wait for a good shooting angle. After a few minutes and being unable to pick up the moth, I got to looking more closely and realized the moth had a problem.



Penolta, please correct me if I am wrong, , but my research identifies this as a black and yellow argiope, a common orb web spinner. I have also heard them referred to as milk spiders in the South. Their zig-zag webs are immediately identifiable. They prey on flying insects, including very large ones such as this hummingbird moth.



The female makes the kill, while the much smaller male waits and observes from a distance.



Taken with the K-7 and Bigma.

Paul
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 1:41 PM   #2
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Great capture, Paul!
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 7:48 PM   #3
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Also known as the "Golden Garden Spider." and the "writing spider!" Folks here in East Tennessee say that, if you ever find your name written in their web, you are soon to die...
I guess the moth's name must have been ZZZZZZZ!
Great photos!
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Old Aug 11, 2010, 7:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojansoc View Post
Penolta, please correct me if I am wrong, but my research identifies this as a black and yellow argiope, a common orb web spinner.
Paul
I don't think you are wrong - one field guide shows it as Argiope aurantia, the Yellow Garden Spider (common names are not standardized), one of the orb-weavers. The silvery-white zig-zag lines leading to the center of the web where the spider sits is called a stabilimentum, the function of which has had many suggestions: transmitting vibrations to the spider when something hits the web, visible in the ultraviolet to attract insects, visible to birds and detectable by bats to prevent them from flying into the web and destroying it; camouflaging the spider from predators, etc., etc., etc.

Too bad about the moth, but nature isn't always pretty.
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 1:47 AM   #5
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Very nice sequence Paul. Wow - that male is tiny in comparison to the female. Nature is both weird and wonderful at the same time.
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