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Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Illusive Trash Web Spider

Still not a very good picture, but you can get the gist of what this Cyclosa (turbinata?) spider looks like except for its posterior. Photos of C. turbinata mostly show a line of trash in the middle of the web; these generally do not build such a line, but a rather more elegant tent-like structure in the middle of the web, under which they crouch and wait for prey. I have plenty of these small spiders in the garden this year; they mix in stuff from their environment, often papery elm (Ulmus parvifolia) seeds, with their trash to form the tent. This one's has not used elm; I believe those are carolina cherry berry skins from the hedge the web is hanging from, sodden from the rain.

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