Friday, 30 March 2007

Orb interceptor

It's only a matter of time before "knowing every slug in the garden" becomes an entry in the forthcoming DSM–V, so I won't mention that I've been out checking on them*. But while I wasn't checking on the slugs, I saw something delightful—an orb weaver spider packing up her web.

Another orb weaver (Eriophora biapiculata) has adopted the clothes hoist as scaffolding for her web. Tonight was her first appearance. For some reason, she constructed a semicircle rather than a complete wheel but the execution was just as neat and measured.

I took photos but the gusting wind played havoc with the focus. After a couple of minutes, the spider seemed to get irritated by the flash (quite understandably). So she packed up her web. She crawled down the anchoring thread until she reached the bottom of the web. Then she grabbed the lowest strands and gathered them as she scuttled back up. The process took a few seconds—certainly not long enough to get decent images with a point and shoot digital camera. But I took 'em anyway.


* It's a quiet night, so only a couple of Limax are out on their evening glide.


Duncan said...

Very attractive spiders orb weavers, you did well to get that first picture.

Snail said...

The spider was very obliging at first. Wish I'd got a video of her packing up the web, though. She's built a proper wheel tonight, so she couldn't have been too disturbed by the process.

sarala said...

It's a good thing for you we shrinks take forever to publish updates on the DSM. Do we call it OCSD--Obsessive Compulsive Spider Disease?
Speaking of spiders I posted one today with a plea for an identification from you. It is a new one to me.
But I'm not out lurking in the backyard stalking slugs either. Chicago slugs are quite tiny and have no interesting coloration. It doesn't stop them from devouring everything in sight but they don't make a very satisfying squish when you step on 'em.

sarala said...

Oops--it should have been Obsessive Compulsive Slug Disease--much more catchy. Freudian slip.

Snail said...

Perhaps we could start a campaign to have OCSD recognised as a disorder? Surely I'm not the only one ...