Saturday, November 8, 2008

Smiley Face Spider

It was one of those gorgeous fall days here and it was hard to be inside. I spent as much time as possible out working in the gardens that have been rather neglected due to heat, mosquitoes, and sometimes, snakes. As I was dead-heading a rose, this spider caught my eye.


The spineybacked orbweaver, Gasteracantha cancriformis, was named by Linnaeus in 1758. Colors vary quite a bit which created some controversy through the years that there were different species.  It is strictly a southern "thang" ---though it ranges from southern California to Florida and down into the Caribbean islands.They prey on whiteflies, flies, moths, and beetles that are caught in the webs.This one should be a female as the males are longer than they are wide.They only live a few months and the female dies after she produces eggs.

When I look at the pattern on its carapace along with the spines, it reminds me of a smiling sun. I think it could serve as a mascot for the Sunday Morning show, that I think is about the best thing on TV.

1 comment:

David said...

I agree! I still enjoy turning that show on some Sunday mornings. It's a model for what television should be.