Golden Silk Orb Weaver turns the Monarch as it wraps it
Imagine my surprise when my eye caught a glimpse of this epic battle taking place while I'm photographing butterflies! The large fuzzy legged Banana Spider has already stung the butterfly and is preparing to wrap and spin until it is securely in place for a later meal. Sad to say, there were a pile of wings on the ground below so this hunter has been successful in this location before!
Interesting how similar the colors of both creatures are! The browns, oranges, blacks and whites. The spots on the back of the spider and on the edges of the Monarch's wings. Hard to look at but beautiful to see Mother Nature at work and keeping balance in the process.
The Golden Silk Orb-Weavers (genus Nephila) are a genus of araneomorph spiders noted for the impressive webs they weave. Nephila consists of numerous individual species found around the world. They are also commonly called golden orb-weavers, giant wood spiders, or banana spiders though true banana spiders have a toxic bite.
The genus name Nephila is derived from Ancient Greek, meaning "fond of spinning", from the words (nen) = to spin (related to nema νήμα "thread") + φίλος (philos) = "love".
Golden Silk Orb Weaver and wrapped Monarch Butterfly
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, FL