A Passel of Predators

The BugLady has been a fan of predators since she was old enough to lisp out the word. She likes the cuts of their collective jibs and their matter-of-fact fierceness. To her, the “eat-ers” are far more interesting than the “eat-ees.”

A Tale of Two Sac Spiders (Family Clubionidae)

The Sac Spider uses silk to hold the leaf edges together and to line the enclosure. Medicinal plant researcher James Duke calls this structure “both nursery and coffin.” She deposits her eggs inside, stays to guard her brood, and she dies there before her offspring emerge. They, hungry for protein in their first hours, consume the first bit of meat they come across, which is their mother’s carcass.

Funnel Web Spider (Family Agelenidae)

The Funnel-web Spiders in the U.S. are 99.9% harmless to people. FwSs resemble wolf spiders. Both groups dress in shades/stripes of gray/brown, but are slimmer than wolf spiders. A male FWS lives to mate, and after mating, dies. The lives of many females are restricted to their webs. After mating, she creates a disc-shaped egg case and lays up to 200 eggs inside. Hiding her egg case in a crevice is her final act before she dies.

Jumping Spider (Family Salticidae)

When we stare at Jumping Spiders (JSs), they stare straight back through 8 more-or-less forward-looking eyes. And we get plenty of chances to stare at them, because jumping spiders are very common outdoors and are not averse to coming indoors. JSs don’t spin webs to capture their prey; when they spot a potential meal, they jump. JSs will pounce any invertebrate they can catch. But some JSs are omnivores, feeding on nectar and pollen as well as on the pollinators.

Crab Spider Revisted

Today’s episode is a rerun/rewrite of Crab Spiders from the early days of BOTW. The BugLady is not on vacation, but she wishes she were.

Yellow Garden Spider (Family Araneidae)

Yellow Garden Spider webs are often built in “chimneys”—cleared areas in the tall grass. It’s as though the webs exist within a glass cylinder in otherwise dense brome grass. The female spins the center of the web; the male adds more web around the outside and adds a thick, white, zig-zag “zipper” band to the center. Also called the Black-and-yellow Argiope, this impressive gal may reach 1 1/8” in length (the male is about ¼”).

Six-Spotted Fishing Spider (Family Pisauridae)

Fishing Spiders inhabits ponds and slow-moving streams east of the Great Plains. It eats aquatic insects and, occasionally, tadpoles and tiny fish. It is itself, fish food. Some fishing spiders dive under water, their bodies coated with a film of air bubbles, and they can stay there for a long time.

Crab Spiders (Family Thomisidae)

Crab spiders are so named because they sidle across the flower tops with their front legs held like crab claws. There are about 200 species in the North America.