This pair of Hawaiian garden spiders spent a long time facing off from different sides of the female spider’s web. The male is the smaller, drab spider, while the larger female has splashes of yellow, orange bands on her legs, and a bejeweled back, which can be seen here. The female spiders are much bigger than the males, though this female is not actually a particularly large one. Full-sized females dwarf their male counterparts.
I don’t know how this encounter turned out, but the previous day I did see another male on this web and it did not turn out well for him. I didn’t get good photos, but he appeared to be thoroughly enveloped in her ‘loving’ embrace.
When male garden spiders approach a female, they pluck the females web in a certain way to alert her to their presence. Typically, successful male garden spiders mate with a female and then die immediately afterwards. Sometimes the female will eat their male suitors. I’ve read than canny males will try to mate while the female is undergoing her final molt because during this process she will be immobile!