Tag Archive: spiderweb


what day is it?  yes.  yes, it is.  and this is a one-photo edition — a photo that has been patiently waiting head-down in the middle of its web until tiny vibrations suggested that it was time to rush over here and jump out at you.  here it is:

my dad took this gorgeous shot in his back-yard in omaha.  she’s a species of Neoscona, possibly N. arabesca but more likely N. crucifera (also known in the past as N. hentzii) — a large, common orb-weaver, likely responsible for many of the large garden orb-webs people are most familiar with.  these webs are amazingly strong and sometimes trap rather large prey, but the spiders can handle it, and are apparently not only very good at repairing the damage (or recycling it), but also at utilizing very small prey.  i also learned from the famous forsters that orb-weavers can still construct their webs in outer space (see here and here — poor anita and arabella!), although it takes them a few tries to get used to it.  understandably.

we apparently have an occasional Neoscona species turn up in new zealand — N. orientalis, found all over australia and many other pacific islands.  the photo in the book is of a striking, fat-bodied spider with beautiful orange markings, apparently reaching 2cm in length (i want to see one!) but i can’t find much about this species online, so i wonder whether it has changed names.

look at those gorgeous bristles!  apparently their arrangement has taxonomic value, at least in males — see p. 497 of this article on Neoscona systematics.  i think i need a grad student to study spider taxonomy in nz.  anyone keen?  ::::)

oh, hi.  did you want spiders?  sorry.  i’ve actually been collecting pics for over a week with plans to sneak in a belated edition back where it belongs, but instead i’ll just line them up here.  afraid i am short on taxonomic info again this week (slack, i know!) but since there are several species involved, we’ll just cover them all under the family heading Araneidae (orb-weavers) and be done with it.  these fat-bodied beauties are hanging in the centers of large webs everywhere i’ve been in england so far – the ones below were sighted in oxford, dover, and along regent’s canal in london.

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it’s webnesday

i know that’s super corny, but i like the way it looks, with the backwards ‘d.’  like someone spelled the whole treacherous word right, except for one tiny detail.

i digress.

in the slanting pumpkin-colored rays of the sunset (on my walk home form work at 5pm – thanks, daylight savings), a spiderweb gleamed, slung between the lowest branch and the trunk of a licheny tree.

it was well-enough maintained that i thought there had to be an orb-weaver lurking somewhere nearby, probably camouflaged against the bark.  and sure enough.

and then i found $20.

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