Friday, September 26, 2008

Where have all the garden spiders gone?

I don't know about you, but I'm wondering where all the garden spiders are this year....I miss them! I'm sure that the weather and other environmental factors (that we're in a severe drought leading to less food availability) play into the fact that they seem to be non-existent in my yard this year. Usually, I have tons of these girls around the yard, one of which inevitability builds her web across my back gate so I walk through it when I go into the backyard.

The female garden spiders are easy to recognize with distinct webs. Garden spiders make the large webs with the "zipper" in the center. The spiders are fairly large (other than the males which are much smaller and often not seen) with yellow, black and white coloration.

These are great beneficials to conserve in the backyard habitat and help to cut down on garden pests. Of course, they are generalist predators and will pretty much eat whatever they capture; they don't have our knack for separating "good" bugs from "bad" bugs.


BB's update:

It's been awhile since an update on BB. BB is now 36 weeks along and should be arriving in about 3-4 weeks. Length is now around 20 inches and weight around 5.5-6 pounds. I, personally, am feeling huge and rather cumbersome. Getting up from a chair is becoming difficult and I have to take a break when walking up the stairs at home (ridiculous, I know). There's too much baby and not enough room at the moment, so I'm sort-of looking forward to when BB drops into my pelvis (other than the havoc he/ she will wreak on my poor bladder and the thought of waddling everywhere I go).


Something else I want to share is a picture of my hubby, Alan. He was working in Uvalde this week doing environmental assessments and found a tarantula. Of course, he couldn't leave it alone.....and yes, we're both a bit odd....

7 comments:

llehmusvirta said...

Wizzie,

Wow, what a great picture of the tarantula. And of Alan, too! I wish I had a tarantula to pat.

Good luck these last few weeks before BB launches into the world and we can all meet him/her. I'll be thinking of you. Linda

ConsciousGardener said...

Nice couple...I can only imagine the fun you have at halloween...

I didn't get a writer spider this summer either...but I saw one at Zilker:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a fun and educational site. I have some good pictures of my zipper spider, too. Didn't know the official name. Is that it? Zipperdoptera? Maybe?, Lynda Oswalt

Wizzie Brown said...

There are a lot of common names for the garden spider. It's in the genus Argiope.

reddnas1 said...

I've wondered about the garden spiders too this summer. I only saw one the entire summer. Love looking @ them & occasionally throwing stink bugs into the web. :) I guess I like playing with spiders too.~~Dee

Anonymous said...

we are seeing a lack of any spiders in our yard and around our porch in east TN. Any ideas why? we arw not in a draught zone

Wizzie Brown said...

It could be that there are a lack of spiders due to other environmental conditions- cold temperatures, rainfall, ect. I've also have spoken with people who have mistakenly knocked down spider egg cases and have fewer spiders the next year.