Wednesday, November 27, 2013

End of a productive life

My spider lady passed during the night. I knew her time was short. She'd stopped spinning a stabilimentum (zig zag) within her web. Then last night I saw her just clinging to what remained of her web. The temps were cold so instead of going outside, I opened my office window and shot a few last images of her. Sure enough, this morning, she was gone. 

While outside tending bird feeders, I stopped by and searched the salvia and lantana foliage beneath where she'd hung. But I found nothing. Except for her four egg sacs, tributes to a productive spider life indeed. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall butterflies

Number FOUR!

YES–our argiope mama laid her fourth egg sac! But this time, she chose a bit better location. Instead of attaching it to the side of our house (like the other three), she constructed her sac underneath the nearby bird bath. This egg sac should be the final one for her.  

Didn't take James long to find egg sac #4.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

New sphinx moth!

I was shooting photos this evening and happened onto a sphinx moth, nectaring on our shrimp plants. I snagged this terrible image, but it was good enough for someone on to ID it as a Titan sphinx (Aellopos titan). 

Awesome–now we've had FOUR sphinx species in our Wildscape! White-lined (Hyles lineata), Amphion floridensis, snowberry clearing (Hemaris diffinis) and now the Titan. 

UPDATE–My sighting was confirmed by Butterflies and Moths of North America!

Gray skies, fall color