Monday, July 16, 2012

Orchard Orbweaver and other spiderlings

The middle of last month I took a walk and found a couple of interesting spiders, well actually one species called an Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta). They are long-jawed orb weavers and their webs are horizontal or almost horizontal to the ground.



It was difficult to get under the webs and take the top side of the spider since they hang down from the center but you can see the spinnerets at the back of its abdomen. Since that day I have seen several more on different walks.


The other spider sighting was a group of spiderlings all huddled together. There were two groups on one tree but I don’t really know what species they are. I could see a white cocoon shape in the first group but I did not find an adult nearby as I would have expected if they were nursery web spiders.


When I looked at the second group I accidently touched the branch and they all went scattering about and I thought that was pretty cool. So I went back to the first group, turned on the movie mode and deliberately touched their branch to make them scatter.

video

The movie is a little shaky since it was at such a bad angle but you can get the gist. They all huddled back together after a bit. It seemed like a good defense strategy since it was really quite startling and unexpected.





2 comments:

Oroboros said...

I spotted some of these along the shores of the Shenandoah River last spring, and another in a suburb near Silver Spring, MD a month or so later.

bugguide.net notes that venusta is Latin for "beautiful". I imagine that Venus is another derivative of that word.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/2010

Oroboros said...

I spotted some of these along the shores of the Shenandoah River last spring, and another in a suburb near Silver Spring, MD a month or so later.

bugguide.net notes that venusta is Latin for "beautiful". I imagine that Venus is another derivative of that word.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/2010