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Published on May 15, 2014
An orb weaver spider makes her web and catches a light snack. All filmed in our jungle garden. One cricket was harmed during the making of this video.
Thanks to the Alvarez family for discovering this spider next to their tent.
I 'discovered' that spiders eat their webs when I was filming it. At the end of the time-lapse you can almost see her eating the centre section of the web. I saw it clearly on the previous day when I filmed the detail shots of her making the web. In hindsight I should have got a better shot of it.
I have not got up early enough to observe the entire consumption but each morning it was like she was never there.
Unfortunately she has disappeared, probably taken by a bird. I don't see big ones like her very often. The introduction was filmed after she had gone, so my finger was in no danger.
Shot over four nights mostly with a 100mm bellows lens and custom built lighting. I found that I had to use LED lighting, she did not like the heat that the halogens produced. Also she was very sensitive to noise, moving around her was not problem but talking at normal volume would cause her to abort her web building and hide in her little leaf house.
Pulling focus was probably the trickiest part of the filming, the Minolta bellows and magic lantern features made this possible.
As payment to all the disturbance she got two juicy crickets thrown in her web.
Update: there are now quite a number of small orb weavers in the same tree perhaps her offspring.