Creepy Crawly!

Don't be alarmed, but the following post is all about spiders! Our much anticipated spider workshop with Dr. Richard Bradley is coming up and I though we'd get a head start on things. (The workshop is full-up by the way.) I don't know a lot about spiders, but I had some interesting photos lurking around the computer files and thought we could take a look at them. Here we go!

We'll start with a nice big one! This is a Six-spotted Fishing Spider. We often catch these during the pond study with our school groups. Most of the time, the ones we catch are quite small. But, as you can see, they are quite know...for a spider.  :)

I'm not sure what the name of this spider is, but it is frequently seen in the spring. It's quite small, but has a brightly colored abdomen. 

Here is a medium sized spider with prey much bigger than he/she is! This unfortunate Promethea moth is having a bad day. However, the spider is having a great day! What a meal!

Again, an unknown spider for me. I took this picture because of how translucent the legs looked against the leaf. This is some nice camouflage if I ever saw it!

Many folks know this large spider, the Garden Spider. The familiar black and yellow markings along with the white zigzag pattern down the center of the web, make for a striking combination. 

 Here is the same kind of spider busily wrapping up her prey in silk. She'll then take it back up to the center of the web and suck out the liquefied insides of her meal. Mmmm! Yummy!

Okay so as far as spiders go, I'm not a huge fan. They are cool and I value what they do in the ecosystem. But I have to say Crab Spiders have my vote. Named for their long front legs that they hold out just like a crab, these guys are pretty neat. Above is a nice sized yellow one sitting on some Goldenrod. With that kind of camouflage, the food will just come to you! It's just like having a pizza delivered, except we don't eat the delivery person!

In this picture is another yellow crab spider. This one is smaller and with the photo taken from farther away, the ability to blend in is much more noticeable. Click on the photo to make it bigger for a closer look.

They are all around us and even in our homes, but remember, spiders are eating other insects and things that we don't want around anyway. So go spiders go!