Found only on the islands of Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, the happy face spider, such as this one guarding its eggs on a leaf in Maui, is known for the unique patterns that decorate its pale abdomen. Scientists believe Theridion grallator may have developed its distinctive markings to discourage birds from eating it.
(Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Deadly Silk: Spiderwebs," August 2001, National Geographic magazine)
Photograph by Darlyne Murawski
12 years ago