Jul 28, 2008

Writing Spiders

In this photo all you see is the demon spider (Argiope s.) lurking in its web. What you don't see terribly well is the squiggly stretch of silk it places in the center of its web.

These spiders were once called "writing spiders", because of the stabilimenta (those squiggles I mentioned), which were thought to be some sort of communication a al Charlotte's Web. Studies have shown that diurnal spiders that employ stabilimenta are 34% less successful in catching their prey, but their webs are far less likely to be damaged, because lumbering humans like me and other passing creatures (birds, etc.), can more readily spot and avoid the web.

We should pass some sort of legislation that requires all spiders to include stabilimenta in their webs. It's the least our arachnid neighbors can do. How about it, legislators?

Photo source: Sean McCann

7 comments:

Theodosia said...

S O M E
S P I D E R !

Jade said...

One of my absolute favorite spiders. Great photo! :)

booge said...

I always wondered what the hell was going on in those webs! Learn something new every day. Stabilimenta, you say? Thanks, Wombat!

Denita TwoDragons said...

These are one of my most favorite spiders! (Sorry, Wombat, I am an arachnophile and I ain't ashamed to admit it!) I had a beautiful big female take up residence on my balcony last year. She spent the entire summer, fall, and part of the winter right beneath my porch light. When it got cold, she laid not one, but TWO egg sacks. Her babies are now living in my carport. They look just like miniature copies of her!

--TwoDragons

Morigale said...

I think this is the type of spider that lives at my aunt and uncle's house.

I went over there a bit before halloween and saw a very similar spider in a web that had the squiggle of silk in it. Being an idiot, I thought they put up a decoration, and leaned way in to look at the really neat fake spider.

At which point it moved, and I shrieked like a little girl.

I keep intending to get a picture, but every time I visit, either I forget my camera or the spider is nowhere in sight.

Pets World said...

There are any spider-man here??

Anonymous said...

tha is one ugly spider=]