Caught in the act

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DAP MV
DAP MV Regular Member • Posts: 454
Caught in the act
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Spiders molt, i.e., they shed they "skin" (technically, it's exoskeleton). Some do it for they entire life (e.g., tarantulas), other, such as orb weavers, only during beginning of their life, until they reach maturity.

One of the young spiders in my garden, Zygiella x-notata (a.k.a. missing sector spider, or silver spider), an orb weaver, decided to molt and I was lucky enough to catch her in the act.

What you see on top is old exoskeleton. The spider, very tired and fragile after molting, hangs below it in a very distinct position: she's trying to pump hemolymph (blood) to her legs so they are in shape when the new exoskeleton starts to harden.

Few more minutes, and the spider went to her retreat.

(Scale: the diameter of the abdomen of the spider is about 2.5 mm.)

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Darius

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