Jun 15 2005

Spider du jour

Longjawed orbweaver, Leucauge venusta, female I think, weaving, you know, an orb. Photographed by Twisty in North South Austin, June 2005

We get it, you’re saying. Patriarchy sucks. Great. But we really came for the spiders.

OK, fine, get off my case already; here’s an orchard orbweaver. Orbweavers are the builders of the classic wheel-shaped webs made famous by Charlotte. If you live in the Eastern half of the United States, you have L. venusta in your own shrubbery. For christ’s sake don’t kill it! It’s not poisonous! The outrageous neon iridescence of this specimen is somewhat obscured by my failings as a spider portraitist. But you can take it from me; she’s the gaudiest thing in the bush, bar none.


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  1. rhondda

    I live in British Columbia, Canada, I do not think they are here, but who knows. Spiders like my front porch because I leave a light on and the moths come around. I have a spooky place by Halloween. I will have to become more observant. Neat picture.

  2. deja pseu

    Here in So Cal we get those big ass wolf spiders in the summer/fall that like to weave a web across your front door that you don’t see and walk through and then have to do that “ACK!THERE’S-A-BIGASS-HAIRY-SPIDER-IN-MY-HAIR-OR-SOMEWHERE-ON-MY-PERSON” dance. :-p

  3. Crys T

    I live in the UK, where the spider selection is sort of…..ehhhh. I’ve not seen anything as pretty as the spider in the photo around here, that’s for sure.

  4. alphabitch

    Truly beautiful. I love spiders and spiderwebs.

  5. Carolyn

    I discovered orb spiders about a year ago when one wove a web on my back door. It was an electric yellow with black polka dots and red legs.I love those things. (There’s a Southern superstition that if these spiders count your teeth, they will weave your name in their webs and you will die.)

  6. Twisty

    Sounds like you had a spinybacked orbweaver–one of my favorite spiders. In fact, stumbling across one of these babies is what initially ignited my geeky fascination for backyard invertebrates. People tend to give bugs the cold shoulder, which is too bad. They’re small, but they lead brilliant, torrid lives. I conduct daily safaris in and around the Twisty shrubbery, and I’m here to tell ya, until you’ve seen an Eastern pondhawk dragonfly eatin’ a housefly, you haven’t lived.

  7. Carolyn

    It wasn’t a spineybacked. I indentified it once, but I’ve forgotten it’s proper name and a quick google search isn’t turning anything up. My Southern husband keeps his mouth shut around orb spiders though. Maybe we should send a few to Kos and Gillard?

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