As I knelt down to get closer to a wonderful chorus of breeding Moaning Frogs in a small Perth Hills wetland earlier tonight, I suddenly noticed the above Banded Orb-weaving Spider (Argiope trifasciata) right in front of my face! I was reaching for my camera when I heard a sudden fluttering sound and glanced back to see a damselfly (which may have been disturbed by my movement, or attracted to my head-torch), caught in the web. In seconds the ferocious female arachnid moved to seize her prey.
|The Banded Orb-weaving Spider clutches one wing of her damselfly prey.|
Within seconds the spider had hold of the damselfly and had dispatched it with a quick bite. I was amazed at how delicately she grasped its individual parts as she pulled it closer towards her body. The orb-weaver then began wrapping up her prey in a special multi-stranded 'glad wrap' silk (one of the many different types of silk spiders produce in their spinneret), for a later meal.
Meanwhile, the strong chorus of Moaning Frogs was continuing all around me. As always, nature presented an unexpected surprise that emphasised a small wetland can support a diversity of creatures, both the ones we see at a glance, and the ones which require a closer look.