A dance of death

Spider mating35

St Andrew’s Cross spiders, male seducing female

Argiope keyserlingi and Argiope aetherea are called St. Andrew’s cross spiders because of how they hold their legs in pairs. In addition to their standard orb-web, Argiope spiders build additional white opaque zig zag lines on their webs, called stabilimentum, unclear why.
The females often eat the males.

St. Andrew's Cross Spider mating32

This male was dancing around her web, gently pulling on her legs in acts of seduction before approaching in a whirl.

Spider mating

Spiders mating

I couldn’t see what was happening – and thought he was being eaten, but this time he emerged. Three weeks later she left a green egg sac behind and moved on further down the steps.

Egg sac, St Andrew's spider

Egg sac, St Andrew’s spider