Squash Fear, Not Spiders!

Araneus diadematus
The garden spider spins a large complex orb-web, which is used to capture insect prey. They spend much of their time at the centre of their web, and detect vibrations in the silk through their legs when insects become trapped. When this species is threatened, it rapidly shakes itself and the web up and down, and this behaviour is easy to observe with a simple click of your finger whilst she is in the centre of the web. She may also drop to the ground on a silk thread and play dead, hey, spiders need Oscars too! The web may be rebuilt every day, and the old web is consumed so that the proteins used in its construction are conserved and re-used. I’ve actually photographed cross spiders eating their web with pollen particles included. Late Summer is the time for love between the sexes but it’s a precarious time for the male of the species and they approach females with caution in order to avoid being eaten. After the nitty gritty, the male goes his separate way and the female returns to her retreat for several days. She will find a suitable spot to produced her eggs and safely cocoon them in silk and for several days stand guard until she dies. It is not until the following Spring that the young spiders, many hundreds, emerge from the cocoon and form into dense group, though this doesn’t provide protection of any sorts as I’ve observed many different spiders preying on the young A.diadematus. It’s all about numbers in this species and with so many hundreds of spiderlings, a nice percentage will make it to adulthood. Eventually the young disperse by ‘ballooning’, a form of dispersal in which the spiderlings are carried on the wind by a thread of silk and it’s time to make it in the big wide world and no doubt they will 🙂

Posted by Tone Killick on 2016-08-27 14:59:24

Tagged: , TurnFear2Fascination , spiderlove , araneusdiadematus , beautiful , arachnid

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