Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Spineybacked Orbweaver

One of the side benefits of gardening is coming into regular and intimate contact with the insect world. Pam at Digging has mentioned the recent influx of ladybugs in our neighborhood. In my yard, this was a passing flux. More enduring has been the presence of Gasteracantha Elipsoides, or the Spineybacked Orbweaver, the spider that has established its tiny but ornate empire in several corners of my garden. Shaped like a crab, with spiky horns, and decorative spots, this spider spins a large ornate web every evening, suspended by whatever stanchions it can find: eaves, porch railings, tree branches. The one over my head at this very moment has woven its web daily in the same corner of my deck for the past 3 months. Though miniature, this spider is quite as beautiful as any flower in bloom, and a welcome companion—especially since, despite its prickly appearance, it is harmless to humans. Thanks to for the photo; my camera cannot do justice to the closeup.


Anonymous said...

Pam @ Digging says:

I think the ladybug invasion will be temporary in my home/garden too. But the crab spiders have already come and gone as well. I posted about them in October or November, but as it got cooler they disappeared.

Funny, the differences, even though our gardens are only about a mile or two apart.

Dawn said...

Oh, that is a great photo of a Spineybacked Orbweaver. As spiders go they are too cool.

BTW, I'm so glad I found your blog through Pam's site. It's always good to meet another Austin Garden Blogger. I've added your blog link to my site. :-)

Dawn at Suburban Wildlife Garden