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The smaller male Golden Orb Weaver (at tip of female's right hind leg) cautiously approaches the gravid female to mate with her. After mating the female frequently eats the male; confusing him with food items vibrating the web. The male's pedipalps are swollen with a sperm bundle which he has transferred from his genital opening. During mating this sperm bundle is injected into the female's genital opening; the male then scurries away. The beautiful golden colour of the web filaments gives the species its name. Above and to the left is a second species of spider, scavenging on food on the Orb Weaver's web = commensal behaviour.// Golden Orb Weaver Spider - Nephilidae: Nephila ?plumipes.  Female body to 25mm diameter when full of eggs, leg-span to 200mm; male body to 6mm diameter; legspan to 25mm; Guy-lines for the 60-100cm diameter web may reach to 5m or more from the orb; and are often multi-stranded; and of a deep iridescent golden colour; Widespread in warmer-climate areas of Australia; Asia; Africa; America.   //Eric Lindgren//