Sunday, August 18, 2013

Spider Project

A few months ago, after mowing my lawn during a break in the rain, I noticed a female Argiope aurantia had made her home on the outside corner of my porch.  I made a mental note to move her to the cluster of trees against the fence.  Unfortunately, I never got a chance to complete that task.  She's laid at least two egg sacs and attached them to the house's siding.

Though she'll die by the time it turns cold, her eggs won't hatch into thousands of little spider hatchlings until spring ("Charlotte's Web," anyone?).  So now my task is to wait for her to die, then move her egg sacs carefully to the azalea bushes for cover.

Argiope aurantia is a pretty species of spider (at least the females are).  She is harmless to humans and frequents gardens.  She keeps a clean web.  Of her common names, Writing Spider is the one I most appreciate, which comes from the zigzag design of the stabilimentum at the center of her web, a style not typical of other spiders.