Prairie Orb Spiders

At this time of the year, the prairie orb spiders become quite active and webs seem to be most everywhere. This post contains some photos of their large, beautiful webs and I’ve thrown in one of the web owners. Here is one web that caught my attention in the early morning prairie hike:

Orb Spider Web

Orb Spider Web

Located within the main web is the stabilimentum. It is not totally understood what it’s function is, but recent research suggests the stabilimentum actually decreases the visibility of the silk to insects, thus making it harder for prey to avoid the web:

Orb Spider Web

And here is the proud owner of this web, a Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) glistening in dew on nearby foliage:

Yellow Garden Spider

On my trip back through the prairie, the spider had moved to the center of his web, with a recently caught prey (looks like a grasshopper):

Yellow Garden Spider with prey


Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 macro lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT carbon fiber tripod, with 3 Pod H-3 ballhead (this is my new, lightweight macro setup)
  • ISO 1600 (first 4 images) and ISO 800 (bottom image)
  • Aperture f/11 and f/16
  • Shutter 1/40 sec. to 1/320 sec.



Posted in Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography
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