Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hard work pays off - Spider on the night shift, part 2

 This evening Steve and I did a hike at Highbanks Metro park. The main motivation was to try out my new hiking boots before I head to South Africa next week. The good news is that the boots fit well and I had no hotspots or other issues after a three mile hike.

The other good news is that our friend, the orb weaver spider, had made a new web in the same spot as last night. This time the dogs stayed inside while I went to fetch my camera gear. I was able to make a photo without worrying about whether the dogs would snap one of the anchor lines. This spider is about two inches long (including the legs).

I still do not know the name of the species, but she's beautiful. I hate to admit it, but when I looked at her through the macro lens, my first thoughts were of king crab legs.....

Update: 18 Aug 2013 - This is Neoscona crucifera, the Variable Orbweaver. Ohio Department of Natural Resources has a pdf on the common spiders of Ohio, which gives a lot of natural history about the spiders we most often see in the state.  For example, orbweaver spiders spin a new web every day. The sticky strands are the spiral ones. The spider is nocturnal and eats mostly moths. The web is gone by morning, and the spider eats the strands (to recycle the proteins in the silk), and then hides during the day.  

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