Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Unwebbed

I did some research on spiders and found that orb spiders have an internal "storage" organ where they load extra calories they can call on when prey is scarce. (In women these storage organs are called "hips".) As a result orb spiders can go for long periods without eating, so I can apparently stop worrying that Lacey hasn't eaten in several days. I have also determined that "it" is indeed a "she" of the species Araneus diadematus, the cross spider, aka the "European garden spider". This spider was introduced from Europe but has spread all the way across North America.

She is still retreating to the window frame during the day and emerging only after dark to hang in the corner of the window. No web spinning, but tonight a little movement, a little leg waving and symphony conducting. It's probably not the best night to build a web though. It's very windy out. But she looks perfectly normal, so I am hoping she will perhaps resume her web-building as soon as this wind dies down.

I wonder... a few days ago there was a very small spider fiddling around at the edge of her web. She didn't dart over and eat it, as she did every other insect that touched the web. The little spider wasn't caught, it moved cautiously around the outer edges. After reading more about orb spiders I am now wondering if the "little" spider wasn't a garden orb male, there to offer what passes for flowers and chocolate to our gorgeous girl?

Maybe Lacey is suffering from morning-sickness! I don't know what a pregnant spider looks like, but I guess time will tell.

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