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Sunday, October 30, 2011

BOO!

This is a funnel-web-weaving spider in the family Agelenopsis. 

The Agelenopsis spiders do not weave orb-shaped webs of the sort Charlotte lived in. Nor do they weave cobwebs of the kind that drape Halloween houses.

This spider's web is made from sheets of non-sticky silk that are invisibly fine; a spider moving about in the web appears to be walking in the air. The web in the photo is made temporarily visible by drops of morning dew and fallen bits of plant debris. Click the photo for a closer look.

The web narrows at one end into a funnel-shaped hole. The spider typically sits in the funnel and waits for prey. When something walks across the wide end of the funnel, the spider feels the vibrations and rushes out.

This is one fast-moving spider! I touched the web and the spider left so quickly that it seemed to disappear. But if I had been a small insect, I would have been just as quickly bitten and taken down into the funnel for a feast.

Very spooky!

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