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Nephila pilipes mating | by PF T.J.
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Nephila pilipes mating

Was lucky enough to observe the mating process between two golden orb web spiders. Note the huge size difference between the male (smaller) and female.


The male is seen on the underside of the female, using its specialized, swollen palp to fertilise the female.


Usually the males have to be very careful to avoid being eaten by the female; and they usually prefer to "sneak" in while the female is eating. This particular male is rather brave! :D


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Taken on May 13, 2014