Arthropods

Arthropods

Bejeweled islands of silk

One of the more beautiful sights in the forest is the twinkling of dew laden webs of wolf spiders in the first light of morning. Spread out over an area all reflecting the warm light of the morning through the dew that has formed

in their layers. Like jewel encrusted silk islands on the green sea of the forest floor.

Lawn wolf spiders, Hippasa holmerae, build their silken traps in small "colonies", one spider may have several traps all close together but you will always find several individuals living in close proximity. Each trap is laid out over a small area, anthing from the size of a matchbox to the size of an A4 sheet of paper. It has a main base layer that includes a funnel where the spider will lie in wait or retreat to in order to feed or if it feels threatened. There are other finer layers built above the base layer as well all connected to the spiders hub by silk threads. When a prey species, usually a cricket, grasshopper, fly or bee accidently collides with the web the wolf spider shoots out of his lair to immobilize the prey in a fraction of a second and then will return to the funnel to finish its meal. 

 

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"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." > Edward O. Wilson

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