1.complete spider in webb and 2.close up. My question; what is the hook like body part between the spiders rear legs and what does it do ? - This is not a photoshop modified image.
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The 'hook' is the epigyne, which is external opening to the genitalia. Sperm is transferred by the male to the epigyne and travels from there to the internal genitalia. The form of the epigyne varies greatly from species to species and is the most useful character for identifying adult female spiders (although there are a few species that have very insconspicuous epigynes)
Why do spiders always face downwards when they are at the centre of the web?
I would guess it's useful for a spider to be head down when tackling prey, particularly large prey, so that gravity is working for it rather than against it. The spider might be less successful at manipulating and biting insects from above when they're trying to fall away from it. But that's just my theory.
Lat/Lng: 51.5, 0.2
OS grid ref: TQ5982