Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cool Creepies

In general, I love creepy crawlies as long as they're outside, and aren't roaches, mosquitoes, or termites. Or on my face.

This beauty spun her web on the back garage a few weeks ago. There were two egg sacs nearby, protected by her massive web. She herself was pretty big, nearly the size of my hand from the tips of her back legs to the tips of her front legs.  She's a garden spider, probably argiope aurantia.  Interestingly, a male of the same species built a web over our front door and hung out for a week.  He'd angled the web in such a way as to not be disturbed by the opening and closing of the storm door, nor by humans coming and going.  I didn't photograph him, but it was cool to watch him wrap up his prey (moths), feed, then carefully unwrap them and let the carcasses drop to the porch, apparently recycling his silk.  When he moved on, he dismantled his web completely and left no trace except for the pile of moth carcasses.

This critter has left the building, so to speak.  A carolina mantis (stagmomantis carolina) molted and left her former exterior on the window screen. (I say 'her' because there's an egg deposit about three feet away.)  I exaggerated the lens flare a little bit in photoshop.

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