Wednesday, August 9, 2017

golden raspberries and orb-weaving spider

Because the golden raspberries turned today from rock to rasping tongues I decided to pick a handful.
The speckled spider that lives there in the small under the deck raspberry patch has strung her lines from the hanging Wave Petunia basket to the nearest orange day lily so I had to be careful. I do my usual trick. I gather all the spent Petunia flowers and fling them at the web. This delineates the territory of the spider.
I find out from various sources that this is an orb weaving spider (whatever this is). Apparently they can bite but don't usually do this so I am not going to find out.
What I do to avoid it is I again plaster the web with dead flower heads and then avoid the spider as I pick the raspberries. Sometimes when I do this the spider runs out all excited thinking I am providing supper but no luck and the spider gets ticked off as I add more to the web.
Eventually the web gets cleaned off and we play this game the next time the golden raspberries start rasping their golden tongues and flicking their ripeness at me.
Spider Photos - Orbweaver (2016 - 17)
Here's some photos of those common Garden spiders from the Orb Weaving family. My apologies if there are some Araneus on pages where they don't belong but they are very hard to classify. Try this page for a species guide:
Orb weavers (Araneidae) are often brightly coloured with rounded abdomens, some with peculiarly angled humps or spines. However, there is considerable variation in size, colour and shape in this group. They are easily recognized because of their beautiful, large, round webs, on which they rest, head downward, waiting for prey. The webs consist of a number of radiating threads crossed by two spirals. The inner spiral begins in the centre, winds outward, and is made of smooth threads like the radiating threads. It covers only the central 1/3 of the web. The outer spiral begins at the edges and winds inward. It is made of more elastic, sticky threads, coated with a liquid substance. One of the largest and most commonly encountered members of this group is Argiope aurantia, the yellow garden spider and we have photos of them on their own page. Garden Orb Weavers are NOT dangerous (but can bite as can most spiders) and rid your garden of many unwanted insects. They only live for one season and die off as Winter approaches, leaving their egg sacs behind to hatch out next Spring. Please select a section below. Here's a short video (3Mb) sent in by Aaron Knapp. Click here.
1505 This is an orb-weaving spider (family Araneidae) that somehow has wandered away from its web. Ed Saugstad, retired entomologist; Sinks Grove, WV.
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