Mirror Spider's Mosaic-Like Reflective Abdomen Captured in Spectacular Closeup Photographs

The exquisitely decorated abdomen of the mirror spider may resemble a disco ball, but the special effect is not just a flashy show. The reflective jacket covering the spider’s abdomen scatters light and confuses potential predators, making it a defense mechanism that also looks quite spectacular.

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A byproduct of the spider's digestive activity, the mirror-like panels on its abdomen are made of the organic compound guanine, according to Find-A-Spider Guide author Ron Atkinson. The spider excretes crystals onto the surface of its back side somewhat like a mirrored mosaic, giving it a "disco ball" effect.