In their funneled webs, Badumna longinqua (l), body length about 14 mm, and Badumna insignis (r), with a body length of about 18 mm. The males are about half the size of the females.
I will blog these spiders a lot, because they are my constant companions. Mostly it will be the larger of the two, B. insiginis.
In this post I will just introduce the three individuals who I have chosen to blog. They live on the back door, which consists of 20 panes. The numbers in the names refer to their door panes, numbered, not very originally, from 1 to 20. 99% of spiderlings do not make it to maturity. For 4 years I have been leaving the webs on the door panes, in the hope that one day I will see a female making her egg sac, and then see the young hatch. But the birds usually take the spiders when they get to a good size. Today I finally witnessed an egg sac being made!
Mother-13 was clearly gravid - ready to lay. Her abdomen was quite swollen. This was what I could see through the glass pane yesterday. This is into her retreat, so she has lined it with silk. But at least I can see her.
Mother-13 ready to lay.
Then, this morning I saw it. Mother-13 was spinning her egg sac, which she had attached to the glass. Here she has just finished. You can see how much of her abdomen full of silk has now become egg sac and eggs.
Girl-in-one and Guy-in-one are a male and female in pane one, who have been cohabiting for two weeks now. Most male spiders do not become dinner for their mates - that's just a few species. I am hoping for another egg sac at some time soon. This is how they look to me from inside the kitchen.
The smaller male, Guy-in-one, above, and the female, Girl-in-one, below, are cohabiting. The female would not tolerate another living creature in her web other than a male. She'd eat it.
Upsider is a much more typical black house spider, in that she has her retreat worked into a crevice. In her case, it is into the brickwork next to the door. She always rests upside down. An individual will tend to always rest in a particular orientation, even though the entrance appears to be pretty regular to me.
If you look closely at the full size (click on the image) then you will see that Upsider's fangs act like pincers - pointing toward each other. That's the way they are in most spiders, often referred to as 'modern' spiders. The 'primitive' spiders - trapdoors, Australian funnelweb spiders and mouse spiders - have their fangs pointing downward. They raise their front half to strike down on prey. I will blog our Victorian trapdoors in another post. Upsider has 8 eyes, in rows along the top of her head (well, bottom of her head, given that she is upside down). The eyes are very small, and mostly detect light. Upsider detects the world through her sense of touch - through air movement over her hairs, and through the web.
You have now met them. They live pretty active lives, as future posts will show.
Regal fed extremely well today. I couldn't identify the shrouded creature, but I would guess it was a large flying beetle.
An hour outside tonight, and I counted 34 orb webs. Most will not make it to full size, but some will. It's going to be a wonderful summer!