Tuesday, August 04, 2015

My pet spider

The lovely Argiope aurantia is looking much more filled-out and healthy after a few days of feeding her grasshoppers that I catch and put in her web for her. The webs that she's made even look nicer and neater, with the characteristic zipper-pattern and everything.

At the moment, she's enjoying a delicious feast for her dinner:

It's fascinating to watch her spring into action when I put the grasshopper into the web. This particular hopper is about twice the size of the ones I put in before; on the first day, I tried to put one of the great big hoppers into her web and it kept breaking it because it was just too enormous. Plus, I think that she was kind-of weak and was in no condition to subdue and wrap up a hopper that big. So I caught little ones for her. Today I nabbed this guy, who's not quite the size of the gigantic hoppers, but definitely more substantial that the little ones. I watched as she turned on the wrapping-silk-nozzle and quickly encased him and envenomed him. Then she rested for a couple of minutes, and went to work transferring the package to a less-damaged section of web where she could safely feast on his juicy innards.

When she finishes off her meal, I'm going to have to move the box of cow bones because it's kind-of in the way... which means I've got to rig up something else for her to anchor her web to. I'm hoping to keep her on the porch where I can observe her.

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