The Stegodyphus sarasinorum spider species, also known as Indian Cooperative Spiders, live in colonies. They hunt and feed communally, and live in cooperatively built nests of silk and other matter. Unlike social insects like bees, paper wasps, ants etc there are no queens here. All the spiders live together and all the females from the colony mate too. These nocturnal spiders feed together and the most hungry spiders come out first to hunt down prey that get trapped in the web.

While on a nature walk with my friends in the Doresanipalya Forest Research Station (JPRF) in JP Nagar, Bangalore, we came across a colony of social web spiders, all actively feeding on a trapped fly and a jewel bug. We were amazed to see them feed together as a group, something which we do not get to see very often.

To shoot this photograph, I used a Canon 80D paired with a Tamron 90mm lens, Yongnuo 560 IV flash and a homemade diffuser. My friend Pavan Kumar helped me with the second light which was used as a backlight to get the details on the web.

The image was a finalist in the Nature in Focus Photography Awards 2020.