Friday, August 27, 2010

Eight Legs & Eight Eyes!

"The Writing Spider"

Ms. Writing Spider spent five days and five nights in the yucca plant near my parents' garage. I captured her photo after pulling weeds and nearly overlooked her! She was just beginning her zigs and her zags. What artwork! What an intricate, mi-nute, itsy bitsy piece of God's creation.

Do you think that Mr. Writing Spider is hiding in the foliage in his man cave while she weaves and designs and watches over their world? My guess is he's watching argiope espn.

So I Googled and found ...

"Female Argiope with web stabilimenta, the heavy white zigzag portions ...

Stabilimenta are conspicuous lines or spirals of silk, included by many diurnal spiders at the center of their otherwise cryptic webs. It has been shown spider webs using stabilimenta catch, on average, 34% fewer insects than those without. However, webs with the easily-visible markings are damaged far less frequently by birds flying through the web. It is an evolutionary trade off the spider can influence every time it builds a new web. The inclusion of stabilimenta is influenced by many factors, including prey density and web location."

Thankfully, this is a common garden spider ... but I had never seen one before & am totally fascinated! As long as it stays OUTside. BTW, if it were a snake I wouldn't be sharing 'cause I just wouldn't get close enough to even get a photo. I'd be standing on top of a picnic table.

See more interesting photos & info about this creature here.


Jamie Harder said...

Very cool spider. I just discovered a "new" one in my yard...I'll have to take a picture:-)

Sharli said...

Crimeny! (is that spelled right?)
I would be on the table just because it's a spider Jane! But, I must admit that your photos are amazing and I've learned something I didn't know. Good to hear from you, I've missed you.

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