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Friday, September 30, 2005

Top of the bug food chain

This green lynx spider is the mother of the baby spiderlings whose picture is posted below. She has captured a wasp (golden polistes I think) for a much deserved meal after weeks of tending her egg sac. These wasps cruise the shrubbery in search of caterpillars with which to provision their nests. This one has met a different fate.

So we could have a fine drama of two noble predators--one hungry and selfless spider who has waited for weeks for the opportunity to feed, the other an industrious wasp doing "good" work ridding the garden of caterpillars--all played out in a small bush somewhere in Tustin. That is if we were willing to anthropomorphise.

Did I mention these spiders display parenting behaviors? The mother first lays down a sheet of silk, then lays the egg mass in it and wraps more silk around to form the sac. She then hovers over the sac until the babies hatch. I'm collecting data on how long this whole process takes in my area: from mating to hatch and beyond. Yes beyond, because the mother hangs around after the eggs hatch, standing guard over her tiny offspring.

I have never observed the green lynx mother feeding the young spiders; actually I can't definitively say I have ever seen them eat.

18 comments:

joyce said...

gosh.. i have never really paid any attention to bugs except trying to get out of its way when i have the honor of meeting one.

I am really impressed with the information. However, i wonder if the little creature could have a bigger picture please?

Good job... :)

Hannah said...

hmm...
I like how you think...
I've never thought of really actully studying bugs or anything but now that makes me wonder...

Goggler said...

really... a new way to look at bugs. nice blog.

WordReader said...

What a wonderful blog site! This will be interesting reading for me in the future. Keep up the good work.

xtinnn said...

wow.. so bugs aren't really that bad at all. i admire your patience and creativity. im impressed..
(^^,)

Donovan Phillips said...

What a nice blog. My son would love it. Congrats on making the "blogs of note" section.

Sans espoir Romantique said...

This blog is a real eye-opener to all those who think that bugs are just little creepy-crawly vermin.

They are indeed quite interesting.

Thumbs up to you!

atnihs said...

I'm learning a lot from your blog. Bugs are usually ignored, so it's nice that someone pays attention to them.

It's always good to find blogs that show people's passion for something. Keep up the good work!

Violet said...

Vanessa, very nice blog. I love bugs, too, and the sweetness and attention that you show to these usually overlooked creatures is a breath of fresh air. I have a question for you, what kind of camera do you use? The pictures are fantastic.

Nic said...

This is a very nice blog I love the subject. Keep up the good work.

Nic

BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

My grandson loves bugs. I'd like to send him your blogs.

HanktheDog said...

Lovely picture.

samadoo42 said...

THAT IS SO KOOL HEHEHE VERY KOOL

djshawn said...

I really like the way you think and analyze things... I look forward to visiting here again. Feel free to visit my new Blog at www.djshawn112.blogspot.com.... leave comments and links to any other interesting blogs.

Lucio said...

Really nice blog. I really liked the pictures. Keep up the good work. Cheers.

chris said...

I love your blog and your passion for bugs! Great photos!

Judith said...

This is my second visit to your wonderful blog. I have always loved bugs, I find them fascinating--just their colors & textures alone inspire. You give excellent information & photos. Thank you!

Jeanne said...

I have been observing two Green Lynx Spiders in my yard since July. I am very mpressed by their apparent parental instinct. One of my spiders thermo-regulated her egg sac on a large amaranth flower, moving it to keep it in the warmest part of the flower and hiding it under the flower during an October rain. In addition, when she moved from my sunflowers to the brilliant red amaranth flower, her white chevrons and her breathing lines slowwly turned fuschia to blend with the flower. The larger female is done guarding her hatchlings and has begun to feed gain. This morning she is eating a baby snail!