Thursday, September 29, 2016

Arachnophobes beware!

Last week while waiting for a group of students at Mill Pond Park, I noticed a large web strung between several late summer wildflowers.  Looking a little bit closer, I found this beauty...

She is a female Shamrock Orb Weaver (Araneus trifolium).  This species can be found across most of the United States and Canada.  Females of this species are quite large.  Her abdomen probably measured 1 to 1.25 inches across.

Unfortunately, she won't live much longer.  This species only lives for a single year.  Females lay eggs in the fall.  The eggs hatch the following spring.  The young spiders grow to adulthood during the summer.  They reproduce and then die when the temperature drops below freezing. 

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