Friday, 19 February 2010

The spider and the ant

Now that the Wet Season is here, there are no more great swarms of emerging insects. Termites and ants still turn up in dribs and drabs and there are smatterings of leafhoppers, but the wildebeest-like migrations from somewhere to my windows aren't happening anymore. I can go outside at night and not get covered in arthropods.

Well, almost. The period of abundance that followed the first rains has brought forth a second wave of creepy crawlies. My house is now home to so many spiders that the whole building appears to be enshrouded in spider web. Among these arachnid Christos are numerous red house spiders (Nesticodes rufipes).

This is a strongly synanthropic species found in warmer areas of the world. Their webs are messy structures often constructed in corners and under eaves. This one had built its web around an outside light, where it managed to snare an ant alate. The ant is about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long. Despite the difference in size, it was no match for the spider.


mick said...

After a week of wet weather down here the spiders are all out too. However, in my nice suburban home area they are NOT counted as acceptable decorations so I scurry around removing them - and end up missing all the epic battles that you describe :-(

desertnutmeg said...


(sorry--couldn't resist, even though it's sooo cliche)

Have a great weekend!

Snail said...

Mick, it's all happening here! I must admit to occasionally freeing some captives tangled in spider webs. This morning I released a big antion that was caught by one wing. There are plenty of other things for the spiders to eat.

Meggs, we are all Spartacus! The weekend has started well. Met some new neighbours (well, they live about 10 km away, but that's close enough) and have seen the split-eared pademelon, so I know he's still around.