Scientific Name: Argiope pulchella
Tamil Name: Silanthi
Description: This is the garden spider with a large web design. It is white and wavy and radiating. The body is yellow, white and black. Legs appear as four at rest.
Habitat: Wooded habitats and gardens.
Habits: It builds a web with a zig-zag stabilimentum. Stabilimentum is a conspicuous silk structure included in the webs of some species of orb-web spider. Most spiders have four pairs of eyes on the top-front area of the cephalothorax, arranged in patterns that vary from one family to another.
Food: Small insects that get caught in the web. Like most arachnids including scorpions, spiders have a narrow gut that can only cope with liquid food and spiders have two sets of filters to keep solids out
Life cycle: Male spiders identify themselves by a variety of complex courtship rituals to avoid being eaten by the females. Spiders reproduce sexually and fertilization is internal but indirect, in other words the sperm is not inserted into the female’s body by the male’s genitals but by an intermediate stage Males of most species survive a few matings, limited mainly by their short life spans. Females weave silk egg-cases, each of which may contain hundreds of eggs. Females of many species care for their young, for example by carrying them around or by sharing food with them.
Role in the environment: Spider venoms may be a less polluting alternative to conventional pesticides as they are deadly to insects but the great majority is harmless to vertebrates. Possible medical uses for spider venoms are being investigated, for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, Spiders can also be used as food.
Photo source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argiope_pulchella