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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Orb Weaver

This spider had triangulated her large web between the pittosporum hedge, the privet hedge and the pole that holds the basketball hoop up.  This location happens to cross the path leading from the back yard to the far back yard and so I knew where to look for the spider because of the number of times I've walked into the web.  This particular day eleven days ago the sky was blue, the air was calm, and the daytime presence of large spiders was one of the few telltale signs it is November.

The following day we had a strong Santa Ana wind that blew her web away and I haven't seen the spider since.  Today it's cold and rainy: somewhere the spider is hunkered down in a chilly recess maybe that hole in the basketball pole, or more likely her body lies cold and sodden somewhere under the pittosporum.

Neoscona crucifera is described on bugguide as "the one [Neoscona, spotted orb weavers] with the least defined pattern" and "rusty red color with a lack of pattern on the abdomen".  The other spotted orb weavers (N. oaxacensis, Western spotted orb weaver, and n. arabesca) are much more colorful and decorated.  My plain-ish not very spotted brown spider must be N. crucifera.  The markings on the ventral abdomen are typical for the genus.


Cindy said...

I really like how the web glimmers in the second photo.

Kinda sad when the season is winding down though. I haven't seen a big orb weaver for a while, only a few shrivelled mama lynxes guarding their broods, and with every chilly night and rain storm they grow fewer. Even the mantids have all but disappeared.

Bookwyrme said...

They're really rather beautiful spiders with subtle shading and variation. I'm appreciating them more and more as I watch them. Unfortunately, as Cindy says, they are disappearing for the season.

deola said...

These are lovely!