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).


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)

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

  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,

  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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