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Friday, September 3, 2010

SO who is Charlotte?????

If you remember from your childhood “Charlotte’s Web” you have a good idea who she is. Our Charlotte’s secret Latin name is Argiope aurantia. Since that is a real mouthful, unless you are a biology freak that likes to impress others with your ability to mangulate the Latin language, we will just call her Charlotte. argape spider0902 (1)We know it is a she since the males are only .25-.5 inches. She on the other hand is close to 2 inches (big girl). She has short silvery hair, yellow spots on her cephalothorax (back end) and pretty yellow reddish bands on her legs. Her web is a spiraling orb radiating out from the center.DSCF8094 Very symmetrical. The reason for the zig-zag is arguable. The most common reason is for stabilization of the large web or as a visual signal to birds that there is something there. Unfortunately she will not be with us for much longer. The white sac you see is her egg sac. She will attach it to the web and protect it as long as she can, but will die with the first frost. The eggs will hatch and disperse in the spring. Argiope’s are not known to be dangerous or aggressive. In fact is you bother her she will drop to the ground and hide. The other unfortunate thing is that part of her web is attached to our hay wagon which will be needed soon. On the bright side, her egg sac will be in one of our mulch bins that will not be used till next spring. Maybe we will get to see the coming out party!!!!

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