Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Spider vs. Spider (arachnophobes, be warned!)
Early this morning, I came upon a life and death drama on a small scale. A sowbug killer spider (Dysdera crocata) was trapped in the web of a brown widow spider, (Latrodectus geometricus). Sow bug killers live under rocks and eat isopods, (you know, "roly-polies".) In a small corner of my patio, the big orange spider was probably creeping along the base of the wall hunting for one of the many little sow bugs that are there. The brown widow's messy-style web reached from the lower part of the chimney down to the ground.
The brown widow was trying to throw silk around the bigger spider to immobilize it. But she couldn't get close enough.
See the fangs? They need to be strong to penetrate the shell of a sow bug. But this spider would be just as deadly to the brown widow, as the widow would be to this spider.
So the brown widow advanced and retreated, advanced and retreated, lather, rinse, repeat. The sow bug killer continued to keep her captor away. I was out there in my bathrobe, sitting on the cement until I grew tired of watching and waiting. I went inside and busied myself with something for a little while. When I returned, the bigger spider was gone. Not captured, just gone. She must have managed to finally free herself.