Wednesday, September 21, 2011

“Our” Black & Yellow Garden Spider “Charlotte”

Not for the squeamish!!!

What other name can you give to spider? I’m sure that most people in North America have seen the animated movie for children called “Charlotte’s Web”. Actually, the story is more about a pig then it is about spider, but, who cares?
Back to our spider. I have started to feed him earwigs and other harmful bugs and watch him operate. Am I ever glad that spiders are this small! The speed at which they mummify their pray is nothing short of astounding! As soon as I placed the earwig in her web she was there in one leap and immediately grabbed and spun the pray over few strands of her web. Within seconds you couldn’t tell what was inside the cocoon. Then she carried the still moving earwig and started to eat it. Totally gruesome! Only reason I am posting this is because they are gardener’s friends as they catch mostly harmful insects. She has eliminated quite a few cabbage butterflies and moths.
Even though I had camera ready shoot a movie how she starts to catch her pray I was still too slow. After all, I had camera in one hand trying to hold it and start recording while feeding the spider with other hand. Basically, I would have to have as many arms as spider has legs in order to do it or have a helper.

The insect is wrapped in part of her web that is missing. Also, you can see that she is shooting new silk directly at the pray. It was so fast and right on target!
video
I had no chance to get the start. She was too fast form me.

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