Today’s spider is one that I haven’t presented before. It’s a tiny one, and I was surprised on the one hand to find it ensconced under an old, dry mushroom this early in the year, but not so much after all on the other, considering the incredible hatch of midges (family Chironomidae) that we’re experiencing. At first glance, they look like mosquitoes, but they don’t emit that dreaded whine when they fly, and—thank goodness—they don’t bite. All of the webs that I see are packed with more midges than any normal spider could handle. The first mosquitoes are gradually beginning to appear, however, and soon I’m afraid they’ll take over. It will, unfortunately, be some time until our beloved serious and efficient insectivores (dragonflies and bats) will appear to do their part. But in the meantime, we are thankful for the spiders that are hardy enough to be active this early.
This one, if I read my references correctly, is a male Northern Cobweb Weaver, Steatoda borealis, and he’s pretty small, with a body only a half-centimeter in length. May he feast heartily, prosper, and be fruitful and multiply!