Monday, September 15, 2008

(not so) exotic visitor

On Thursday, I was trimming the shrubs in the front of our house when I came upon this long-legged arachnid. He was perched on a parchment-thin web, and when he heard me exclaim, "Wow!" he moved on top of his prey, as you see him doing in the photo. I hadn't ever encountered a spider this glamorous in Connecticut. Bryan suggested that the spider had ridden in on an imported bush, and we decided that a spider so colorful must be poisonous.

On Saturday, my mom looked him up on the web. Based on the markings, he seems to be a Yellow Argiope, also known as a Garden Spider, or Writing Spider (apparently there is a legend in which the Argiope writes a person's name in zig-zag the night before the unfortunate victim's death). We were all a little disappointed to discover that the spider is actually quite common, distributed fairly evenly throughout the lower 48. But it was a neat encounter nonetheless, and the little creature takes quite a stunning photograph.


chris said...

I like the spider--it is beautiful.

Elizabeth said...

I like spiders, but I'd have screamed like a girl if this one jumped out at me. Fortunately I have heaps of letters in my name so it is unlikely to choose me as a prey. Too much work spelling.