This little creature moved into the garden a few weeks ago. She set up her home in between a couple of tomato plants, which should be the perfect place to catch some tasty insects. Hubby was doing a little weeding and almost ended up with her in his hair. The next 2 pics are from August 19th. She's a tiny little girl!
She's a black and yellow argiope, aka garden spider or orb weaver. We were surprised to notice she only has seven legs. One front leg is missing! She's also only about half the size of the orb weavers we've had in the past.
It didn't seem like she was having much luck with insects until a few days ago, when I saw she had a small morsel wrapped up. It might have been a regular fly, kinda hard to tell. I usually visit her each day, and she's getting noticeably bigger, which is a great sign. I'd rather she eat the tasty bugs in the garden than the bugs eat my veggies!
Tuesday afternoon I checked on her and was amazed to find she'd caught a monster! A cicada wandered into her web, and the cicada was much larger than her. Ian and I watched for a bit while she climbed around the cicada, trying to subdue it and get it wrapped up.
hold still cicada, I'm trying to wrap you up.....
the cicada's wing is bigger than the spider!
whew, I need a break.
Notice the damaged web.
The cicada damaged her web, and while it's still not fully repaired, she must've spent some time over the course of the evening getting it fixed. Look closely and you can see there's now web underneath her prize, which wasn't there in the pics above. And she's a bit more plump today too!
Yeah, I know, lots of people are squeamish about spiders. We get the occasional wolf spider in the house, which doesn't thrill me, but I'm quite happy to have this little girl in the garden. When people come to visit Ian loves to have them walk to the garden and then point out the spider. He thinks it's funny when they scream.
Thanks for looking!