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Monday, May 27, 2013

The final weeks of Wonderful, the garden orb weaver.

Wonderful was a garden orb weaver, Eriophora pustulosa. I told of her life in a previous post, The story until here ... She hung around on her web all summer, getting larger and fuller in the abdomen until she was very fat (for her size). Every night I photographed her. (All images enlarge if you click on them.)



Then one night she was gone. I checked throughout the night and in the morning and throughout the day. There was her retreat, silk lined and spiderless.


The next night she returned. But the huge abdomen was now very thin. Somewhere nearby there was an egg sac. I started hunting. These spiders are known to be very good at hiding the egg sac, but then again, I'm a master spider watcher. I knew I'd find it.


Each night she spun a web as usual, and usually took it down before morning. Each day I hunted for that egg sac.


She fed night and day and started to regain condition. I kept hunting.



It was a horribly dry summer, so on hot days I watered her. As soon as the light sprinkles from the hose stopped, she emerged to drink. I hunted some more.


She hung around, looking beautiful. The leaves started to fall from the bushes, but no egg sac was revealed. This photo ...


... was the last I took of her. The next morning she was gone. I couldn't find any trace of a body. And the egg sac? I'm still hunting.