Friday, April 1, 2016

A Zillion Baby Spiders

I found this little crowd infant of arachnids in my building courtyard this morning.  I don't really know what kind they are, but my best guess is... 

Araneus diadematus  uh-RAY-nee-uhs dye-uh-dem-AH-tuhs
the (Cross Orbweaver)

from: Wikipedia


This spider is named for the pattern of white spots on the abdomen that form a cross in most specimens. Native to Europe, it was introduced to North America long ago. It spins the classic wheel-like orb web, usually sitting head-down in the hub (center), at night as well as during the day.


This species is one of the most well-known spiders in the whole world, and has been the subject of numerous scientific research papers. We have listed merely a few in our references section.

It was elected as the “European Spider of the Year” in 2010.

In 1952, it was the star of a short film documentary called “Epeira Diadema” by Italian director Alberto Ancilotto. It was nominated for an Oscar in 1953.

If it feels threatened, it may “bounce” up and down in the middle of its web so that it appears to be much larger than it really is.

Click pictures to enlarge.  All photos © Geonni Banner
 Without a macro lens, my pictures aren't the greatest, but you can certainly see that there are scads of the little devils.

Edited to Add:  These are indeed Araneus Diadematus .  Here is a You Tube video that shows them more clearly.  From what I've read, they stay together for about a week after hatching, molting several times and spinning a "nursery web," in which they catch food.  The nursery web is more like a net than the classic flat orb web of the adult spiders.

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