Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Tale of Two Spiders

Since discovering the Goldenrod crab spider on the daylily in the back alley I've been peering into all the daylilies I come across, unsuccessfully. But then I was watching bees visit a flowering bush and I spotted one. This one definitely looked like an ambush predator with his legs poised to grab. I wouldn't want to be a fly that landed on this flower! (as usual, click on a photo to view it larger)

Goldenrod crab spider

Meanwhile, each day when I arrived at work I would look for the fishing spider at the pond. I found a fishing spider at the same spot, but it looked smaller. It was half hidden so I couldn't see clearly but it looked like it was on top of a ball of something. I did a bit more research and found that they carry and guard their egg sac. So it appeared I was correct that it was "pregnant" initially. I tried to get a photo of it with the egg sac but it kept hiding where I couldn't get a good angle on it. I came back after work but a group of people had had the nerve to sit right beside where the spider was, blocking my access.

When I arrived this morning, the water lily plant where it had been was gone! The grounds crew rearranging the plants, presumably. I figured that was the last I'd seen of my fishing spider, but I took a look around at nearby water lilies. And there one was! I couldn't see any egg sac so either it was a different one, or it had lost the eggs in the move.

I stopped by after work again and there was a spider in the same spot, but with an egg sac. Again I tried to take photos but it was in an awkward position. I tried to nudge it but that was too much and it dove underwater. I could just see it and the egg sac under the surface.

I knew Shelley was out with SSAR training to save lost souls (other than me) so there was no hurry to get home. It was a beautiful warm evening so I made the ultimate sacrifice and went next door to Boffins - strictly to give the spider a chance to come out. The glass of wine was just to keep me occupied :-)

My sacrifice paid off and when I came back the spider was in a much better position - even lit by the evening sunlight.

Six-spotted fishing spider

According to my research, the next step is that it will make a "nursery" web to protect the hatchlings. I will keep my eyes peeled :-)

See all 4 photos as a slideshow or overview

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