Thursday, July 05, 2012

Chocolate and caramel spider

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.


  1. She's very pretty, and I'm in awe at your photos.


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