Project Alicia : Update on the Spider

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update on the Spider

Thanks to Angela, Tonya, Haldan, Sarah, and Mom. The consensus is a black-and-yellow Garden Spider Argiope aurantia

  • Yellow garden spiders breed once a year. The males roam in search of a female, building a small web near or actually in the female's web, then court the females by plucking strands on her web. Often, when the male approaches the female, he has a safety drop line ready, in case she attacks him. After mating, the male dies, and is sometimes then eaten by the female.
  • She lays her eggs at night on a sheet of silky material, then covers them with another layer of silk, then a protective brownish silk. She then uses her legs to form the sheet into a ball with an upturned neck. Egg sacs range from 5/8" to 1" in diameter. She often suspends the egg sac right on her web, near the center where she spends most of her time. Each spider produces from one to four sacs with perhaps over a thousand eggs inside each. She guards the eggs against predation as long as she is able. However, as the weather cools, she becomes more frail, and dies around the time of the first hard frost.
  • In the spring, the young spiders exit the sac and are so tiny that their collection of bodies look like dust gathered inside the silk mesh. Some of the spiderlings remain nearby, but others exude a strand of silk that gets caught by the breeze, carrying the spiderling to a more distant area.

Totally grossed out!! Just so you know the picture was actual size of the sac. So, there ya have it. Just your garden spider at work.

1 comment:

  1. okay yep. Me too (grossed out) especially that the baby spiders look like dust!! How many times have i had a baby spider on me?!?!! Bleeehh! I'm glad you got your lil' mystery all figured out, but what are you going to do with your new babies?? haha

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