Six weeks ago, a big, chocolate-brown spider, Steatoda bipunctata, was waiting for us in the hall when we came home in the afternoon.
|Isn't she beautiful?|
These spiders are usually quite shy, and don't hang out on walls. She must have gotten lost. I brought her in and set her up in a glass house with plenty of hiding places; three clay cups planted with ivy and creeping Jenny. She picked a spot and settled in.
|Hanging belly up in her barely-there web. I love the cream and caramel swirls in her chocolate underside.|
The weather was odd, and there were no bugs around to feed her, so after a week or so, I opened the lid and moved her house just outside the door, letting her go where she could find her own food.
She's still there, usually in her hidey-hole in the handle of the centre cup. The lid is still wide open, and caterpillars and pillbugs join her from time to time. I've never seen her eat one; the other day, she was busy tying up a caterpillar, but when she left it alone, it rapidly untied itself and wandered off. But she probably catches the odd pillbug and hauls it off to eat it privately; these are extremely shy spiders.
|Failed food preparation.|
Now I know this is irrational, but I must confess that I'm foolishly pleased that she has chosen to stay with me, in the home I provided for her.