Posts Tagged: spiders


25
Oct 14

I Saw a Spider Throw a Spear…

I saw a SPIDER THROW A TWIG yesterday….I watched Brunhilda the garden spider repair her web after a windy night. I don’t generally like watching spiders as I have primeval-fear issues with them (I suspect, and I am not joking, that some of us have DNA memory from proto-anthropoid ancestors who were at risk of being caught and eaten by giant Shelob-scale spiders) …but I became interested in this very large, bulbous-rumped gold and black garden spider, who was repairing her web in my front yard. I got so involved I gave her a name, Brunhilda (the ones in the big webs are females).

I noticed she was working deftly to disentangle a very small twig from her web; I watched her unfasten it and I was stunned to see her *throw it*, using two forelegs, almost like throwing a spear, to get it clear of her web. I didn’t know they did such things.

She then went about repairing damage to the little radial connectors between the circular webbing. She did something else I didn’t know they did, then–normally, spiders seem to build up webs by extruding them directly from the spinnerets on the tips of their abdomen. But as I looked closely–my face just six inches from this large spider!–I saw this one dip the very tip of a tarsus, the end of her leg, into the glue pot of her spinneret.

She then stretched the web goo *from the tip of her leg* to replace short connective links between two web circles. It was like a paintbrush sort of movement with the tip of the foreleg, or like the use of a brush from a glue pot, but it stretched a short line across. I was impressed with her deftness. And seeing her in the sunlight I had to admit she was rather pretty.

I spent enough time watching that I became rather caught up…as if in a psychological web…and hence named her, and then found myself worrying about her last night during a bit of a rainstorm we had. Then I laughed at myself. Worrying about a spider! What a dolt!

I’m going to go check on her now.