Saturday, September 6, 2008

Argiope Aurantia--otherwise known as the yellow garden spider

A few weeks ago, I posted some random pictures. I've been trying to take various photos during the week of things I see. Most are animals, nature, and landscapes since I live in the country, but it's really just whatever pleases me at the time. Photographing on a weekly basis helps remind me that there is a lot of beautiful stuff out there which is in a way a form of therapy for me.

Although I already posted a picture of this yellow garden spider, I'm devoting a post to her. Now, I am not a spider fan by any means, but I find a few things quite interesting. First, I'm super amazed she has stayed in one place for over two weeks. Unfortunately, her location is not in the greatest spot. I try really hard not to ruin her web, but she continues to remake it. It's always there every morning, so figure she can't be that mad at me, or otherwise, she'd completely leave. Secondly, I've been able to get really close to her. Now, with this type of spider, it is harmless. A black widow or brown recluse, I'd be running the other direction. Both can give some nasty bites.

Here is a picture of the male spider. At the time, I did not realize it was the male, as it is so much smaller than the female. I saw him for a few days, and then he vanished. I'm honestly thinking that maybe she mated with him and then ate him. Ahh, the cycle of nature.

The next three photos are the spider making her web. The first one is her ventral side. If you look closely, you can see her making the silk. And yes, I was pretty darn close. The second and third are her forming her webs. I was really glad that I was able to get some photos of her webs this time. Doesn't she look larger to you?

And lastly, I think I'm going to give her a name. I'm thinking she looks like an Elvira. Any other suggestions?


Gaining Back My Life said...

As terrified as I am of spiders, I managed to read through your post with fascination.

I had a spider that sat on the screen of my kitchen window for days. Then suddenly it was gone.

Elvira's a good name.

Anonymous said...

Yay, more pictures! These are very, very good. As for a name, I agree that Elvira is a fitting name.

Tiptoe said...

Gaining, I'm glad you were able to get through the post. I guess you could call it a little virtual exposure therapy ;-)

Charlynn, glad you like the picture posting. I do find it a lot of fun and therapeutic.

All right, so two for Elvira, any other name suggestions?

Cammy said...

I must have seen hundreds of these on my trip this weekend, they were everywhere in the forest! They are really, really beautiful. My mom has one outside her dining room window that she recently named, too, funny coincidence with your post. They are definitely creatures of habit, like you mentioned with the constant web rebuilding, I think there's some comfort in observing a wild animal that is so consistent about setting up camp near you, kind of a reliable presence that's even more special because you don't own it, it chooses to be there.

I like the name Ariadne for a spider. It's from the Greek myth about the minotaur, Ariadne was the girl that had the idea to spin the thread out through the labyrinth so she wouldn't get lost...

If she did mate, keep an eye out for the egg sac that should appear soon! They don't hatch until around May, though.

Anne-Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne-Marie said...

Excellent pictures! These are really fascinating animals. If you're interested, a while back I did a post about the function of the designs they weave into their webs:

Tiptoe said...

Cammy, that is so cool you saw so many of these spiders on your trip this weekend. Funny about your mom and naming the spider as well.

I agree with you that there is fascination in wild creatures who choose to remain nearby humans. It really makes it all the more worthwhile.

I'll keep an eye out for the sac. What does it look like?

Ariadne is a good name too and very fitting. I remember reading that story. I wish I kept up with all my Greek/Roman mythology from my Latin classes. There are a lot of cool names from them.

Tiptoe said...

Anne-Marie, thanks for the compliments on the photos. Your post was great! I had remembered reading about the stabilimenta while looking up info. on the spider but didn't know all the reasons behind it. Yeah, for more info.!