Sunday, October 12, 2008

Along Came a Spider...

I was collecting seeds around our wetland, yesterday. And there I discovered this beautiful orb weaver. It had caught a Carolina Mantid, Stagmomantis carolina, in its web. I watched, fascinated, as it wrapped its silk around its lifeless prey.

Man, I had wished I had seen the battle. Was it quick and painless, or was it a struggle, a battle to the end. Nevertheless, the Banded Garden Spider, Argiope trifasciata, was the winner and now it was consuming its prize.

I cropped the picture in a little closer. Here you can see the smaller yellow wings of the Carolina Mantid. Their wings reach halfway down the abdomen, while the Chinese Mantid, Tenodera aridifolia, a much larger mantid, has wings that run the complete length of the abdomen and is around 5 inches long.

Here is the dorsal or top view of the Banded Garden Spider. What a beaut! I love the distinguishing horizontal stripes across its abdomen. It reminds me of the squeaky tiger toy I had as a child. I chewed its ears off and carted the thing around with me, wherever I went.

I left the spider to its meal and carted off my prize of Bottle Gentian seeds. Tomorrow, I plan to blog a little more about the Carolina Mantid.


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