The other day I went out to work in my garden and found this Cross Orbweaver spider using my lean-to as its new home.
Lately, I've been seeing more spiders around the cabin and they are a welcome sight. Anything that catches pesky flying insects is a friend of mine.
The Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus) is also known as the Garden Spider. This is a female, distinguished by her large oval abdomen. Males have a smaller, thinner abdomen.
Cross Orbweave spiders can be found in gardens and fields in many states in the U.S. and provinces in Canada. Females lay up to 800 eggs in a sac near the web from late summer to fall. After hatching, spiderlings can travel to unexpected locations by "ballooning" through the air on silken threads. I see this quite often on Powell Lake. Landing on the water must make for a rude awakening.
These spiders weave large, vertical orb shaped webs. They either reside near or right in the center of the web. Either way, they are connected by a thread to determine if a meal has landed. An unlikely fact I learned is that the spider usually eats the web at night, and recycles the proteins contained within to create a new web the following day. That's a lot of work!
Here's a tasty meal all wrapped up for consumption. It's hard to tell, but it looks like a yellow jacket. We get a lot of those around the cabin. Can't say that I feel bad about it getting caught.
References: www.Spiders.us (online), Post Defiance blog by Katy Evans (online), and Cross Orbweaver at Bugguide.net (online)
ABC Wednesday blog. This is the nineteenth round of the meme established by Denise Nesbitt and with help from Denise and Leslie. They are looking for more volunteers. Otherwise, the tradition may end with Round 20 a year from now. -- Margy