Spiderlings waiting for a breeze

This is one of the horses here at the farmhouse – I’ve been trying to find a time when he stays still long enough for a close-up, and finally, there was brief stillness. I’m a bit behind as these spiderling photos are from June 5th. I assumed the young spiders were Argiope aurantia, as I’ve seen many of those around our house, and the colouring seemed right. However I found similar spiderlings to these identified as Araneus diadematus on a couple of internet sites, and the images I found of Argiope spiderlings didn’t have the same yellow and black colouring as the adults. Does anyone know what they might be? (Edit: I checked out a book by Stephen Marshall, an entomology professor at Guelph, who identified spiderlings that look the same as the ones below as Argiope aurantia.  The book is called, “Insects: their natural history and diversity with a photographic guide to insects of eastern North America,” Firefly Books Ltd., 2006).

spiderlings

The spiderlings were hanging from fine strands of silk on our wire fence,  just above the long grass. I expect they were waiting to catch a breeze to begin their lives in a nearby garden or field.

On the subject of spiders, I came across this Zebra Jumping Spider who was willing to pose for a few seconds before jumping at the camera.

Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)

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Comments
25 Responses to “Spiderlings waiting for a breeze”
  1. Rebecca says:

    WOW! Those spiderling photos are amazing.

  2. Good job: I’ve never seen a swarm of spiderlings like these. I’m also glad to see so many of your other clear, sharp photographs of plants and creatures. Keep them coming.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

  3. Montucky says:

    I don’t know what the spiderlings are, but I noticed a similar batch of little spiders last week here too; not the same kind though. That’s an outstanding photo of the jumping spider! I love that one!

  4. Meanderer says:

    Wonderful photographs – I especially like the one of your horse and the jumping spider. We had a group of these spiderlings on the car earlier this year. I identified them at the time but since then had forgotten. I just had a look around the internet for some clear photos and found some on this website: http://www.nicksspiders.com/nicksspiders/araneusdiadematus.htm which look very much like the ones you have here and are the same as the ones we had. Hope that helps.

  5. Great photos! Yikes, that’s a lot of spiderlings!

  6. sandy says:

    Could they crab spiders? The shape is right.
    I love those little jumping spiders. You got a great shot. They are teddy-bear cute.

    • They do look a bit like crab spiders, don’t they? I looked them up in a book by an entomology professor at Guelph, Stephen Marshall, and he has a photo of Argiope spiderlings that look exactly like the ones in my photo – so, now I’m inclined toward that I.D. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on them. I know, the jumping spiders are pretty adorable!

  7. Lisa says:

    I’ve never seen anything like that group of spiderlings (the drawback of living in a city, I suppose) — like little gems, they’re so sweet!

  8. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Yikes! Amazing spiderling pictures, Cait!
    I wonder what your horse thought you were up to taking his picture…
    Love the pretty buttercup. We used to hold buttercups under our chins, but now I cannot remember why!

  9. donald says:

    i have never seen a group of spiderlings like that either, and i live in the middle of nowhere! beautiful. were you attached to the camera when it jumped? it has been so many years since i have checked if anyone likes butter with a buttercup! thanks for that memory.

    • Yes, I was looking through the lens when it jumped. This one missed me, but sometimes I’ve found them dangling on a strand of silk from the brim of my hat. Its been many years since I tried out the buttercup’s powers of prediction, too!

  10. missusk76 says:

    Love these macros! The mirror of highlight in the horse’s eye is so cool and the spiderlings are quite a sight – nothing like I’ve ever seen before. The jumping spider – well, I so admire your steadiness. All very admirable photos, Cait.

  11. I love the “brief stillness” so obviously at odds with the frantic huddle of spiderlings bursting with the beginning of life. Lovely images, Cait, as are the dragonflies. It’s always a joy to watch the world through your eyes, especially now that I have a normal internet connection again and can look at the photos slowly and carefully. Thanks for these pleasures…

    Best wishes,
    Julian

  12. chris says:

    So glad you identified these. I took photos of a crop of spiderlings that appear to be the same species, but hadn’t identified them yet. Great close-up of your horse’s eye.

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