Monthly Image: Alien vs. Predator, Backyard Edition

Late August is, as always, the season for giant orb-weaving spiders, one of which spun a web between two tall cactus plants on the patio and greeted us with this sight one morning:

Spider vs. Dragonfly - overview

Spider vs. Dragonfly – overview

We’re big fans of both spiders and dragonflies, but it was obvious who came out on top in this contest:

Spider vs. Dragonfly - front

Spider vs. Dragonfly – front

These things are unimaginably weird:

Spider vs. Dragonfly - bottom detail

Spider vs. Dragonfly – bottom detail

Even with the spider busy at lunch, she has four eyes to spare. They reflect the flash and appear as white-centered dark dots near the middle of the image:

Spider vs. Dragonfly - many eyes

Spider vs. Dragonfly – many eyes

I’m sure the red spinnerets are diagnostic:

Spider vs. Dragonfly - side detail

Spider vs. Dragonfly – side detail

The spider tossed the empty husk over the side, then spent the next two nights and days parked in her lair, presumably digesting that big meal, and didn’t bother repairing the web:

Spider vs. Dragonfly - spider at home

Spider vs. Dragonfly – spider at home

She spun a fresh web on the third night and caught a more manageable insect:

Spider with smaller prey

Spider with smaller prey

All hand-held with the Sony DSC-H5, some with a 2x close-up lens. All the pix are tight crops, crushed to fit my arbitrary 750 pixel maximum and 200 kB size limit. If you need high-res original images for anything, drop me a note; I took far too many pictures of this encounter…


  1. #1 by Biguggy on 2013-09-15 - 08:06

    Interesting series of photographs,

  2. #2 by Red County Pete on 2013-09-15 - 10:53

    I’m remembering the classic Far Side [sniff] cartoon, with two spiders finishing a web at the bottom of a playground slide: “If we pull this off, we’ll eat like kings!”