Monday, November 24, 2008

Lovely Garden Spider (Arachnophobes Don't Look!)

I was busily picking tender young shoots of rosemary when, oops, I almost put my hand right on a lovely fat Garden Spider (a Banded Garden Spider I think). After years of encountering spiders and other crawly critters in the garden I've overcome the urge to freak out with every encounter. So, rather than jumping two feet in the air and running shrieking back into the house, I zoomed in for a closer look. What a beauty! Gotta get the camera!

So, here she is for your viewing pleasure.....

My latest spider buddy

Side View

The Top, taken from below

I like the way the sun is shining through her legs

The Bottom, taken from above

The last photo was taken in different light which shows off her color better. It's definitely a female garden spider, the males are much smaller, slimmer, and less colorful. The poor males also seem to have a rather shorter life span. Come mating time they focus so much on doing it that they don't take the time to eat and eventually starve to death (if she doesn't consume him first)! The females tend to find a nice spot and hang around for quite a while. There was one that strung a web between a couple of cypresses that I could see from my dining room. Every evening at sunset I could see her silhouetted between the trees. She was there for a few months, until we had a good storm that tore her web apart.

I think I've figured out that Spider Mom is some type of lynx spider. They are commonly found guarding egg sacs and do not make webs. She certainly looks like lynx spiders that I found photos of on the web, so I'm pretty comfortable in thinking that that is what she is.

Messy spider might be a Trashline orbweaver. Her line of trash decorating her web continues to grow.

1 comment:

  1. We usually have several of these in our garden at the start of the summer. By the middle of summer, we usually have two or three giant females that rule the roost. The smaller males pretty much stay inside the foliage while the queens display their extravagant webs right across the main paths in the garden. It's almost like they are trying to catch us! LOL


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