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Spiny Orb-weaver

Gasteracantha falcicornis

likely Gasteracantha orb weaving spider from City Park, Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 2, 2010. Photo © by Michael Plagens

This spider was observed at City Park, Nairobi, Kenya, October 2010. Roy Erling Wrånes kindly supplied the species name.

An orb-weaver spider sitting patiently in the center of her web is a waiting target for a hungry, skilled bird to pluck out and eat. But Gasteracantha spiders have evolved sharp abdomenal spines that discourage such predation. Just in case the sharp-eyed predator forgets the spider, which is essentially blind, also shows bright warning coloration.

Araneidae -- Orb Weaver Spider Family

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 2010