Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Spined orb weaver spider (Micrathena gracilis). Micrathena gracilis is a member of the Araneidae family (orb weavers). Females of his species produce a coiled (orb) spider web. At dusk, the female ingests virtually every strand of the orb web except frame threads. She remains on the frame threads until morning. She then rebuilds the orb web at dawn. Males are half the size of the female and do not produce a spider web, however they do secret silk during the mating ritual. The female spider has a bulbous body (abdomen) with 10 pronounced spines. Orb weavers live in dense deciduous forests and brushy areas from eastern North America south to Costa Rica. Magnification: x1.1 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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