It’s a Holiday today. Ramzan always comes one day early at my workplace. But am not complaining. It’s a long weekend and I plan to laze it out. Given that, today morning I took the book “ಚೋಮನ ದುಡಿ” out to the sitout with the intention of finishing the last 43 pages in one go. It was a nice and cloudy day with a hint of wind, the noise of multiple machines going off to cut tiles or granite, or drill holes in walls or cut metal rods, in the foreground, and the sound of birds singing in the background, trying to make themselves heard to potential mates and then flying away in the hope of finding someplace quiet to ply their wares. It wasn’t a holiday for the construction industry. It never is.
A large butterfly came to rest on the Pongaemia tree leaves close to where I was sitting. I managed to get the phone camera close and snap a nice picture of it. Now, I had to know what butterfly it was! So I googled images of “Indian butterflies”. The first hit of this butterfly was from a blog which did not tell me what it was. The next one was from the wikipedia entry of “Great Eggfly” (Hypolimnas bolina), which has a distribution from Madagascar all the way till New Zealand! And is called the Blue Moon Butterfly in New Zealand. And this is the male of that species. The female is brownish in colour.
Around evening I took my bicycle for a ride. I rode down past Ullal Tank all the way via Manganahalli Road to the NICE road and then doubled back to my Uncle’s place. He had sent a photo of a largish spider on the family whatsapp group and I really had to check it out! After the customary small-talk etc I asked about the spider and was led to it. It had spun a web from the electric pole to a few bushes with multiple hold threads and one large web in the centre, and a signature zig-zag stabilimentum to hold the web. Its 8 legs were grouped into 4 pairs and it had eyes looking straight up. I could even see the sting on the back!
I had Googled it up as “South Indian Spiders” which had led me to a website: southindianspiders.org (Warning: If you suffer from any form of arachnophobia you might want to give this link a miss!) where one of the first few spiders was this: The Signature Spider (Argiope anasuja). A search earlier had showed me that those spiders which build a zigzag stabilimentum belong to the genus Argiope. And there’s only one species of it in the Indian subcontinent, so identification was easy.
I shot a couple of photos, one from the front and one from the back. The first one is from the front(bottom side) and the second from the back(top side).
I had to balance on a stone and watch out for the web strings to shoot this one of the back. I really didn’t want to break the web!
(All photos shot with iPhone 6 camera)
I rode back home with some menacing clouds approaching from the West. Even as I am sitting down and writing this, the clouds haven’t sent down anything, not even a drizzle! A mild Monsoon season this is going to be looks like.
Update (Aug 23, 2015):
Saw one more near the ceiling of the portico at home, having woven a web and settled in the middle. This one smaller than the one above, but I had the SLR at hand.