September 24th, 2012
A Lesson in Spider Webs
Posted by F&S
We don't know why it is, but there seems to be an unusually large number of spider webs all around the farm. That can only mean that there is an unusually large number of spiders! We're not to keen on spiders, but they are rather fascinating creatures.
1 Sharkey, morning is a very good time to look for spider webs because the webs attract the morning dew, making them easy to spot.
2 Franny, there are several different types of spider webs made by different kinds of spiders. This one is known as a sheet web and the spider is usually found beneath it waiting for prey. The web protects the spider from hungry birds.
3 A very common spider web is called an orb web. I think I see one over here.
4 Yes, this is a fine example of an orb web and look! There's even a mosquito trapped in it! Better there than flying around spreading West Nile Virus.
5 Another type of web is an araneomorph funnel-web. Really fast spiders wait down in the funnel and practically leap out when an insect passes over.
6 This is a Argiope garden spider. It is an orb weaver and has striking black, yellow, and orange markings. Their webs may span two feet or more in diameter as you can see, the spider has woven a decoration in the center.
7 Oh, Franny, what do we have here?
8 Look! It's a wolf spider, a very robust and agile hunter with excellent eyesight, which is little wonder since wolf spiders have eight eyes!
9 Sharkey, there is one more thing to look at. This is a silk egg sac, in which a female lays up to 3,000 eggs. Baby spiders pass all their larval stages inside the sac and hatch as spiderlings. That's a lot of babies!
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