We’re moving from the flowers-of-spring period into the insects-of-summer. Along with the insects come those creatures that prey on them, most notably the spiders and related creatures. Of course, birds, bats, and even other insects prey on insects, but I have a special fascination with spiders. They are not, I am led to believe, universally admired. I suppose I understand that. Nevertheless, I think they are quite beautiful, at least some of them are. This is Leucauge venusta, the orchard orbweaver, and a common resident in our area. It’s so delicate and looks like it could be made of glass. It’s been said that you are never more then six feet from a spider. Even if that’s not literally true, it’s probably mostly true. Sleep well.
Tagged With: Arachnid
I met Cathy outside my building briefly today because we had come together and she needed to go out briefly so needed the keys to the car. I brought my camera with me and took a few pictures while I was out. There are porcelain berries (Ampelopis brevipedunculata) out and I took a few pictures of those. Then I noticed a really spectacular web glinting in the sun. This spider was sitting near the middle of that web and I was able to get quite close for some pretty nice pictures. I didn’t have my tripod with me but it was pretty bright out. I’ve asked for some help in identifying it and if I hear about that I’ll post its name here.
Update: I have confirmed that this is a lattice orbweaver (Araneus thaddeus).
The funnel weaver spiders are out in huge numbers at this point of the summer. Especially on damp mornings, when the dew is heavy on the ground, their webs are obvious (but they can be seen pretty well at all times). Outside our front door is a concrete bench (that we call The Stone Table) on which Cathy has various and sundry potted plants and various ornaments. This spider has built a fairly elaborate web along the side of a blue pot. I’ve had a hard time getting a good photo that shows the funnel in their web but I think this one does it pretty well.
This is one wicked looking spider. It is a Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) and I came across her in the woods next to my office. Her web is about eight inches across and about three feet off the ground. With the number of bugs flying around, I suspect she eats well.
The wind was whipping this little fellow around and I could only get at him from behind, so this isn’t as good as I’d like but still, it’s reasonably sharp and kind of cool. If you like that sort of thing — I understand not everyone is crazy about spiders.
There are over 6,400 species of harvestmen which together make up the Arachnida order Opiliones. They aren’t spiders (which are in the order Araneae) but are cousins. I’ve always thought they were cool. Their eyes are on either side of a little turret on their heads — the little black blob in this picture.
After the heavy rain this morning I wasn’t sure I’d get out but it was a beautiful afternoon. I took more butterfly pictures but my favorite of the day is this spider I found. I think it may be a tan jumping spider, Platycryptus undatus.