Nature notes and photos from BC, Canada, mostly in the Lower Fraser Valley, Bella Coola, and Vancouver Island.
I understand the web is taken down (eaten actually) and rebuilt every night.
Yes. I haven't caught her at it, yet. She obviously rebuilds it immediately; when I go out in the middle of the night, she's there, in the centre of her web.
I've found that they time it so that the web is finished building by sunrise to maximize prey catching potential, but well after dark to reduce their chances of becoming prey themselves. This usually means about midnight or so. Smaller cross spiders seem to rebuild almost any time of day, since their webs typically don't last as long (a gust of wind could destroy it).
Tim, I wonder if outdoor lighting affects that. I was out last night after 1 AM, and she was still there, eating a small black fly. But there is always a spotlight on, some 15 feet away and facing away from her, but she may register that as dusk.I'll have to keep closer tabs on her.
They tend to finish their meal before building a web. I used to throw all sorts of insects (crane flies, etc) into their website during the day, and if the food lasts them to morning, they might even forgo building the next day's web. Artificial lights don't seem to disrupt their patterns, as always-on night lights are usually good hang outs for cross spiders, probably because the lights attract their food.
I'll try feeding this one something big, like a crane fly, rather than the tiny black flies she's getting now.
If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!