Must Be May

May 7, 2012

Tags: Argiope, spiderlings

I'm guessing that that these gorgeous little spiderlings--clustered in the nursery their mother set up in the slot in one of our backyard chairs--are the grandchildren of one of the Argiope babies featured in the very first Spider Silk blog post, posted nearly two years ago. Exactly which one is anyone's guess. Which says something about natural selection.




I love their shadows in this one.

Photos copyright Peter Loftus

M Is For the Many Things She Gave Me...

June 24, 2010

Tags: Walker, Kim, Amaurobius, Amaurobiidae, spiderlings

Matt Walker over at the BBC's Earth News has a couple of fascinating videos and a somewhat blood-curdling report (at least for those of us who already wonder whether we do too much for our kids) on new research by Kil Won Kim. Kim studied the interaction between mothers and spiderlings and then between spiderling siblings in the subsocial spider species Amaurobius ferox (in the family Amaurobiidae). Yet another reminder that there's more than one way to find food and to avoid predators.

Definitely check out the links to Walker's other recent reports on araneology.

Home Movie

May 31, 2010

Tags: spiderlings, Argiope

It's always best to start on a bright note. And it's hard to get much brighter than a new batch of spiderlings.

I went around the back to take the trash out two weeks ago and caught sight of this web. At first, I thought it was plastered with struggling fruit flies (I've had to start wearing glasses this year). Closer inspection revealed these awfully pretty youngsters, scrambling busily past each other, each laying down line after line of silk. I'm almost certain they're Argiope aurantia, commonly known as black and yellow garden spiders.



They're gone now. But there is a small orb web in the same location, containing two silk zigzags reaching away from each other on opposite sides of the web's hub. As we discuss in Spider Silk, these zigzags have led to argiopes being known in some locales as writing spiders. So it seems likely at least one of these little beauties has decided to stick around.





Tags

"...a compelling introduction to evolution in action through the lens of spiders and their silks."

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