Identify this orb weaving spider.
September 3, 2009 10:05 AM Subscribe
Spider identification. Outside my ground floor window a spider has set up shop in a corner. It's an orb weaver, but it does something I've never seen before.
posted by sevenless to pets & animals (3 answers total)
It has made an orb web 25-30 cm in diameter. The largest openings at the edge of the orb are about the same size as the spider. It doesn't sit in the orb though. Instead it has also made a sort of blind up against the window frame, and it hides behind it. It backs into the blind and appears to peek out over the top. Whenever something hits the web it rushes out to the center and systematically plucks on the strands. It appears to be testing "sectors" of the web to precisely locate where something has gotten caught. If it's food it wraps it up and takes it back to the blind. If not food it cuts out whatever is stuck and repairs the web. The spider is about 1 cm across. I don't know if it has any markings since it moves really fast, and I can't see it's back. It's behavior is remarkably stereotyped and has incredible economy and precision. Is it an Aculepeira species? That's the closest I could find, but I couldn't find a whole lot of information. The spider and I are in the northwest US.