Monday, August 12, 2013

Long-legged beauty update

Our lady Argiope aurantia continues to inhabit a flower bed in our front yard. Last week, while watering in the back yard, James told me that he thought we had a second garden spider because this one looked smaller. "I bet she's laid her egg sac," I replied. "I looked around, but I couldn't find one."

James took off to go check and returned, grinning. "I found it!" he announced. Wow, I was impressed. Sure enough, there was her egg sac, secured up in the crape myrtle leaves, wonderfully hidden.  

I also noticed a tiny interloper on her web. "Hey, look!" I told James. "I haven't seen one of those in YEARS." It was a dewdrop spider (Argyrodes trigonum), a kleptoparasitic cobweb species that's perfectly capable of building its own web but prefers to steal prey from its host. Sometimes these pushy spiders even dines right alongside the garden spider!

Now fast forward to today, August 12, 2013, and take a look at our girl (two photos below). She's gotten BIG again! So I predict that she's about to produce a second egg sac. With two, we should have a prolific number of garden spiderlings next spring. And that's something to look forward to!

1 comment:

Kip Kiphart said...

Really a neat article; superb images.
I really like it!

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