The other day I went out to work in my garden and found this Cross Orbweaver spider using my lean-to as its new home.
Lately, I've been seeing more spiders around the cabin and they are a welcome sight. Anything that catches pesky flying insects is a friend of mine.
The Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus) is also known as the Garden Spider. This is a female, distinguished by her large oval abdomen. Males have a smaller, thinner abdomen.
Cross Orbweave spiders can be found in gardens and fields in many states in the U.S. and provinces in Canada. Females lay up to 800 eggs in a sac near the web from late summer to fall. After hatching, spiderlings can travel to unexpected locations by "ballooning" through the air on silken threads. I see this quite often on Powell Lake. Landing on the water must make for a rude awakening.
These spiders weave large, vertical orb shaped webs. They either reside near or right in the center of the web. Either way, they are connected by a thread to determine if a meal has landed. An unlikely fact I learned is that the spider usually eats the web at night, and recycles the proteins contained within to create a new web the following day. That's a lot of work!
Here's a tasty meal all wrapped up for consumption. It's hard to tell, but it looks like a yellow jacket. We get a lot of those around the cabin. Can't say that I feel bad about it getting caught. -- Margy
References: www.Spiders.us (online), Post Defiance blog by Katy Evans (online), and Cross Orbweaver at Bugguide.net (online)