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Author Topic: St. Andrew's Cross Spider  (Read 1462 times)

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Offline Bucklandbury

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St. Andrew's Cross Spider
« on: September 16, 2021, 02:37:32 pm »
So I took off this week. My partner is off this week and next. We stayed put here in central Kentucky.

The highlight of today has been a St. Andrew's Cross Spider (Argiope kiyserlingi) - photo below - outside my bedroom window I just found. At least I believe that's what it is. I am not an arachnophile, so please correct me if I am wrong.

I left her alone. She's harmless. Maybe she will eat some mites or flies, which I despise.

https://i.postimg.cc/9mrYsXRB/Image-1.jpg
« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 02:41:19 pm by Bucklandbury »

Offline leatherman

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Re: St. Andrew's Cross Spider
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2021, 07:15:29 pm »
Here in the Carolinas we have the Argiope Aurantia aka the "writing spider" - this kind of spider spins a zigzag piece in the center of it's web instead of the cross like the kiyserlingi. They are territorial of each other, so right now we have one right outside the screened-in back porch, and one out on the deck canopy by the pool.



I have flicked the porch screen a few times knocking bugs into the web. Ostensibly, I claim to do that to help feed my spider; but really because it's totally gnarly to watch the spider rush the trapped bug, bite it, wrap it up it silk, and drag it back to the center of the web to be eaten.

I hate the spider out on the pool deck though. Not only does she not eat enough bugs, she keeps moving around to different sides of the canopy every other day or so, and I keep walking into webs. ugh, ugh, ugh!

Speaking of the pool, I'm draining my above-ground pool down right now (summer is over sadly) because after I tilled up and leveled the area 2 seasons ago, one side is starting to erode and sink. I killed a big ol' black widow hiding out on the side of the pool. yuck!

leatherman (aka mIkIE)

Offline leatherman

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Re: St. Andrew's Cross Spider
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2021, 07:43:18 pm »


This summer I got invaded by about a dozen cicada killer wasps. Setting up their homes by one of my flower beds, they dug holes about 2 inches wide and 8 inches deep, leaving piles of dirt all over. While I'm fine with them killing those damn noisy cicadas, between their buzzing and loud wing flapping, it's really terrifying to have them (almost the same size as cicadas) flying passed your head carrying cicadas that are still making their loud buzzing as they head towards becoming dinner for the killer wasp's larvae down at the bottom of those holes.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

Offline Bucklandbury

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Re: St. Andrew's Cross Spider
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2021, 08:34:50 pm »
Argiope Aurantia

Well, now... I think maybe "my" spider may be the same species as your Carolina cousin, leatherman? I've got the genus right for sure, but that species leaves me guessing. If you look closely at the photo I posted, I see more of a zig-zag behind her - not a cross. So maybe mine is an aurantia as well?

Like I say, I am no expert.

This is why I gave up many times on ID'ing mushrooms... They are just to hard to differentiate. Taxonomy can be difficult.

I am better with trees. LOL. Plus they don't bite.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 08:37:41 pm by Bucklandbury »

Offline Bucklandbury

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Re: St. Andrew's Cross Spider
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2021, 08:39:52 am »
Well, all, I am saddened to report my spider has died. I saw her carcass on my bedroom sill just now. She had a good run, but the cold weather has set in here for real now, and I guess she couldn't hold on any longer.

Offline Bucklandbury

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Re: St. Andrew's Cross Spider
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2021, 10:52:26 am »

Offline leatherman

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Re: St. Andrew's Cross Spider
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2021, 01:39:29 pm »
the one by my back porch moved out about a month and a half ago :(

the one on the canopy at the deck was still there; but today was the day to take down the canopy cover and mesh screens for the winter, so it was moving day for her. The poor thing was nearly immovable after a night dipping to 32. She was guarding 2 huge egg sacs. I carefully scooped the sacs and the spider with some twigs (which got her to stir and be sorta antsy, but she did stay on stick) and moved them all to a sheltered place out in the wood pile. Don't let Mother Nature say I never did anything for her ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

 


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