Monday, January 4, 2016

Macro Monday {Egg Sacs}

Way back in October, I did an inventory of all the egg sacs from garden spiders. In case you do not know, I observe those garden spiders that make their home (web) on the backside of our house and garage. And, I especially pick one or two to observe during their entire lifespan. Charlotte was my first and her possible descendant, Joy, was my second.

I consider 2014 to be the year of grasshoppers. It was almost a plague. Abby enjoyed hunting them. As for 2015, it was the year of garden spiders.

This is a spot on the back side of the garage. Six egg sacs, from at least four different garden spiders, are in view. What you do not see are two egg sacs way up high near the roof and one down below near the end of the gutter spout. That makes a total of nine egg sacs in this area alone.

In addition to this nine, we have two more on another side of the garage facing our back door. We also have a total of 17 all scattered on the backside of our house, underneath the patio roof, and on the backside of the A/C units. We also have two in a Crepe Myrtle tree and one in a Rosemary bush that I refused to pull up after the spiders were gone because this egg sac existed. I will pull it up in the spring after the spiderlings emerge.

Abby spied two garden spiders on one side of the house early in the (past) summer and tried to get one. Of course, I stopped her. I did not observe these spiders as much; but, during the inventory count, I discovered they left behind four egg sacs.

If I counted correctly, the garden spiders left behind a total of 35 viable egg sacs this summer. And, this does not count the ones out front or along the fence line.

Lord have mercy!

In addition to the perfectly made egg sacs, I observed a spider that was idiotic. She attempted to make an egg sac on a window screen! Not once; but, twice! The above picture was taken on August 31, 2015 and there she is on the top left (newest) mess. I figured this was the end of her life as they usually lay two sacs in their lifetime; but, a few do lay three (or more). I kept an eye on her and much to my surprise, she returned to her usual spot and spun a new web.

I have to confess that it was fascinating to see what goes into an egg sac. I went to the other side of the window and used My macro lens which showed exactly what was what. Over a few days, I observed a few turn into spiderlings. But, of course, they did not have a chance. The tiny little eggs were exposed to the elements and many were consumed by pests.

On the morning of September 11, 2015, I discovered the garden spider FINALLY got it right. She laid her third egg sac beside the window. You can see her resting and protecting the sac on the top left of picture. She was not long for this world though as she used up all her energy creating the sac.

By the way, It is going to be fun cleaning up the mess she left behind on the window screen. NOT!