Saturday, 18 August 2007

Nursery Web Spiders in my Garden

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It seems that my Pampas grass has a new lodger. I suddenly noticed spider's webs, about 3 of them, and at a closer look the photo shows who was living in the webs. I knew that it must be a mother spider with her egg, but was not exactly sure what was going on so had a quick look in the insect book. It seems that I have a very motherly spider in my garden, even their name does them credit. I took a few photos of them and here are the results. I think the photos speak for themselves.

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The mother apparently lays her eggs and keeps them in the big white ball, known as egg sac. She then sits and waits until the time comes when the sac breaks and her babies appear. I felt like the spiders nurse in the last couple of days and had to see what was going on from time to time. I usually water the garden in the evening if we have high temperatures as we have had for the last week, but as I had a waiting mother on the pampas, I did avoid going too strongly with the water jet. Although we had a couple of heavy thunderstorms it seems that even the web was built strong enough to hold the mother and children.

It seems (what you can learn about insects from a book) that mummy spider is quite dominant and it is known that she eats the father after their wedding night. However, father spider can be quite sly and often turns up on the night with a dead fly for his mate to avoid a nasty end.

All is well that ends well and below you can see the photo I took of a broken egg sac and about 200 small baby spiders all waiting to make their way in the world. I was thinking if all of those spiders come through life, and half would be females, then there will be a lot of webs with egg sacs next year in my garden.

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