Webnesday (26)

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. Middges 10119The 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.

Steadoda borealis 10155This 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!

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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9 Responses to Webnesday (26)

  1. The first photo looks a bit scary. Not that I am afraid of spiders, but there are an awful lot of them.

    • krikitarts says:

      Happily, they are not spiders, but rather midges, and they’re quite harmless. I think anyone would be put off to encounter that many spiders–sorry I wasn’t clear about that!

  2. Mike Powell says:

    It’s amazing that you were able to find a spider, but it’s clear there is lots for the spider to eat. Wonderful shot, Gary, of the tiny spider.

    • krikitarts says:

      It was quite a serendipitous encounter. I was cleaning out the screened-in entry to the cabin (which serves as a mosquito air lock); I turned over the old mushroom to dust it, and there he was! He was very cooperative, and I was easily able to get the lens within an inch and a half of him.

      • Mike Powell says:

        Yikes. You must have been at the minimum focusing distance for the lens, which, of course, means that you had really limited depth of field. It was luck perhaps that you saw the spider, but it took a lot of skill to capture it so well.

  3. That’s quite a richness of midges, Gary. I hope your 8-legged pal packed a bunch away for a less profuse time of the summer.

    • krikitarts says:

      No worries, Steve. By the time the midges are past their prime, there will be a plethora of mosquitoes and other insects to take their place in the food-chain niche. No need at all for them to pack prey away for a rainy day.

  4. Adrian Lewis says:

    I was going to ask if your midges are the same as our’s >>> but if your’s don’t bite then they certainly aren’t!!! I fell dreadfully foul of them when working on the Isle of Skye, and considered them a Scottish thing until being ravaged at dusk, while out looking for Nightjars on the Mendip Hills. I love the upper shot here, its full of interesting texture and pattern (incl the midges!), and the grey and red colour scheme is very attractive – and the sheer numbers of beings yells out about Earth’s fruitfulness! A

    • krikitarts says:

      If biting midges appeared in these numbers, I’d think I’d found myself on the set of The African Queen. I still can’t watch that scene without full-body shudders.

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