DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Spiny-backed spider (Gasteracantha sp.). Spiders of the Gasteracantha genus have hard, flat bodies. Three pairs of spines project from the edge of cephalothorax (abdomen). Spiny-backed spiders build vertical orb-webs that have open hubs. A male spiny-backed spider has a small abdominal gonopore from which sperm is discharged. However, actual mating organs are located on leg-like limbs called palps (or pedipalps) that are located between the jaw and first leg. In a mature male the last segment of the palp (tarsus) is a large, articulated sperm-holding reservoir and mating organ. Magnification: x6 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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