Spiders and Shells

There are several species of arthropods called “Daddy Long Legs”, including crane flies and harvestmen. So I prefer to call the spider version by its alternate name, the cellar spider. I’m always amazed by how they will tackle much bigger prey, like this house fly. The spider is just a young one, they do get quite a bit bigger.  Their legs must be stronger than they look as you’d think they’d get broken by the struggles of their prey.  Unlike the orb spiders, their web isn’t sticky, so it is quite a job to entangle their prey.

Another interesting fact is the way they spin around if you disturb their web, by moving their legs in turn so the body just becomes a circular blur, very hard for a bird to catch it in its beak.

Cellar spider
Cellar spider

A little more attractive to some is this collection of empty snail shells and a ladybug (ladybird in English) trapped by the intake to the filter of my upstairs aquarium.

Snail Shells
Snail Shells

Flower Spider?

All the world loves a mother with her babies

This looks to me like a flower spider that I often see on goldenrod, but it was a little large and had a nest ready to hatch its babies on an oak leaf.

Since I usually see them later, maybe this is mommy and the ones I expect to see in a month or so are the slightly grown hatchlings.

The first picture shows it wrapping a beetle it just caught.

Spider with captured beetle
Spider with captured beetle

The other two show it with its nest ball, waiting for the hatchlings to emerge.

Spider with nest
Spider with nest
Spider with nest 2
Spider with nest 2