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June 10, 2007:Leucauge dromedaria at Rachel's

What a surprise. I saw a spider invading the web of our little L. dromedaria and after a bit of email exchange with Diaqin, it seems that this is the male. Look at the palps - how much larger they are - as if a pair of boxing gloves. Here he is hiding after his woman chased him out of her web. Clearly not interested in playing the mating game at this time.

jun 10 3178 invader hiding

another view

jun 10 3180 invader hiding

This guy is very persistent. Here he is, making his way back into her web. His palps (the short arms near her mouth, used for holding stuff and delivering sperm during mating) are not so obvious here, but clearly of the boxing glove vintage

jun 10 3182 invader

A different view

jun 10 3189 invader

And the target of his affection - who was a bit frustrated by his advances into her web

jun 10 3192 invadee

However, she chased him off and immediately went to a firefly that flew into her web

jun 10 3194 init wrapping

and started wrapping. I have synthesized an mpeg video of the wrapping process. It was over in about a minute.

jun 10 3198 wrapping

all sorts of high speed motion

jun 10 3199 wrapping

Amazing acrobatics! See how she uses her legs to orient the silk being extruded from her spinneret and wrap the firefly.

jun 10 3200 wrapping

as she wraps it with her silk

jun 10 3201 wrapping

Nearly finished - you can see silk being extruded from her spinneret

jun 10 3215 wrapping

and finished

leucauge spider wrapping prey

Here is a tangle of web stuff - debris from something

jun 10 3214 web debris

The following photos are from a different web. This gives a general idea of the scale. The web is perhaps 1/2 meter in diameter - a central horizontal web with a 3D structure around it.

jun 10 3212 web

When I approach this web, just the slightest movement will send her into hiding. Her hiding place is not so hidden, though.

jun 10 3196 hiding

and a close view of her hiding place

jun 10 3236 hiding close

another view

jun 10 3246 hiding

a bit of acrobatics

jun 10 3225 acrobat

Another web - here weaving, probably by Neoscona

jun 10 3230 weaving

A closer view

jun 10 3230 weaving close

The tension of the web support strand is enough to bend this leaf

jun 10 3250 web tension

A fly

jun 10 3252 fly

Closer

jun 10 3258 fly close

The Leucauge was building a web near our kitchen

jun 10 3270 kitchen leucauge stretch

another view

jun 10 3275 kitchen leucauge

and some more detail

jun 10 3276 kitchen leucauge hair

so graceful

jun 10 3277 kitchen leucauge

and back to the garden - her web

jun 10 3271 leucauge web

Here she is having a bit of breakfast.

jun 10 3287 leucauge breakfast

another view

jun 10 3289 leucauge breakfast

and another

jun 10 3301 leucauge breakfast

Sort of from the side

jun 10 3304 leucauge side breakfast

I disturbed her web and off she went. Here is breakfast only

jun 10 3316 breakfast only

and her hiding place from the left

jun 10 3337 hiding left

and from the right

jun 10 3365 hiding right

A better view of the left

jun 10 3381 hiding left

Then she caught a fly for lunch

jun 10 3382 lunch

but seems too much so she drops it

jun 10 3391 lunch fly

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C. Frank Starmer

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