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Filed under: Decidedly Unscientific, So Cal Living on Thursday, September 14, 2006

When a neighbor suddenly looks thinner, you want to compliment her, right? Tell them how great she’s looking, ask her what diet she’s been on, or at the very least, make sure all is well in her life and she’s not sick or anything.

But what if the neighbor is one of those stand-offish types, you know, with eight legs?

Spider before, all plump and round Spider after, much thinner
BEFORE AFTER

You can really see a difference, can’t you? I mean, she’s practically svelte in the AFTER photo. (By the way, that cloudy stuff in the BEFORE picture is her web.)

So I wondered, what would cause a spider to lose so much weight all of a sudden?

BONNIE: My, you’re looking slim! What’s your secret?

ARGIOPE: If you were smaller, I’d paralyze you with my spider venom, wrap you up in silk, and suck you dry at my leisure.

BONNIE: Ultra low carb, then?

And then I noticed this, about six inches from her web:

Argiope Egg case

(Click on the picture to get a really big image, suitable for the ultimate gross-out!)

According to this site, the eggs inside will hatch this fall. They won’t leave their playpen, however, until the weather warms up in the spring.

And if any of you urge me to do some spider squishing, I’ll remind you that these spiders LOVE flying insects. And since Hubby and I hate flies, the bloodthirsty Mrs. Argiope and her children get to stay.

So there.

ARGIOPE: Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I could take you. Come a little closer.

BONNIE: Um, no.

,

  1. yuck yuck yuck….. I am at a loss of words…..and like I would click on the picture to see them even closer….geeezz…

    Comment by Lrlwreath — 9/14/2006 @ 5:09 pm

  2. Welcome to Bonnie’s Backyard of Horrors.
    Now you need some snakes back there to take care of the arachnids. Heck, just make the backyard a swamp, while you’re at it. I hear chupacabra are nice pets.

    Comment by Jaye Wells — 9/14/2006 @ 6:24 pm

  3. OMG! the one in the corner of my garage is the same way. Except that her little sack whatchamacallit is not by her web, it’s hanging from the porch, and it’s kinda an off white color..

    After I read your post the other day, I googled the spider and read that they eat their web every night and respin a new one…can you even imagine? The web at our house is about 3 ft wide..boogles the mind.

    Comment by Sandy — 9/14/2006 @ 9:13 pm

  4. Yikes!! We had one just like it spin a web from one side of the pool to the other. “A” refused to jump in the pool for fear of the spider! We were watching with great amusement one day, the spider was walking the tight rope web all the way across the pool, we had bets to see if it would fall in or not!!
    It made it :o)

    Comment by Michelle — 9/14/2006 @ 10:41 pm

  5. I’m one of those in a love/hate relationship with spiders. Yet, every year I have one in my office window, and every year I let her stay. In fact, I’ll even toss a bug or two her way when I’m feeling particularly loving toward her.

    So, this one time I’m watching her do her spider-eating-a-bug routine when I notice something shiny drop from her. It was spider poop! Yeah, I was so curious I had to check it out. I did the same thing when a hummingbird pooped on my car.

    Ok, ok, so science was my favorite subject in school, and biology is my favorite science, however, poop is NOT my favorite subject.

    As long as spiders keep their distance, they’re ok in my book, er, window.

    Comment by Ms. Karen — 9/14/2006 @ 10:45 pm

  6. Why are my toes tingling?
    Oh, must be spider sense…

    Comment by Bernita — 9/15/2006 @ 3:53 am

  7. Eeeeeww! I was afraid you were going to say she’d laid eggs. Best wishes to Argiope and her children.

    Comment by Honey — 9/15/2006 @ 4:44 am

  8. I can’t look!!

    Comment by Welshcakes Limoncello — 9/15/2006 @ 7:33 am

  9. lol, I tend to agree, I’d rather have spiders than flies any day.

    Comment by James Goodman — 9/15/2006 @ 7:55 am

  10. Did you happen to miss the part where it says other preditors may lay their eggs inside the spider’s sac as well – like WASPS!! You could be looking at a whole lot more than you bargained for.

    Comment by Jen — 9/15/2006 @ 8:07 am

  11. Laurel Wreath and Jaye, I’m the first one to squeal if a spider makes an unexpected move in my direction! But I think they’re really interesting.

    Like Sandy does! I adore Google. Isn’t it cool, Sandy, that we can find something in our garage and Google it? You’re a woman after my own heart! Although, this web isn’t that big. It’s only about a foot-and-a-half.

    That sounds like an orb weaver, Michelle. Those buggers get HUGE. They criss cross our yard with their webs and it’s hard to get around without running into them. Another reason to like the tidy Mrs. Argiope, who keeps her web contained to one little bush.

    Ms. Karen, that’s how I know there’s spider webs up behind the blinds: spider poop! When I find it, I know I’ve got to clean it out back there. Heh! You’re like my neighbor Sophie, who liked to feed tuna fish to the preying mantis in her back yard!

    Hi, Bernita! Have you read Anansi Boys? I love that book!

    I’ll send you an invite to the baby shower, Honey!

    Welshcakes, what are the spiders like in Sicily? You need to post photos!

    James, great minds think alike!

    Comment by Bonnie Wren — 9/15/2006 @ 8:13 am

  12. The last few years, one of these decided to make her home on my front porch, right between the pillars that lead to the front door, and every morning, either my husband or I would forget it was there, and walk into it. She always built it just before Halloween, so we let her stay. It was quite handy at scaring off potential trick-or-treaters. This year, she arrived early – bringing the family with her – and decided to spin the web across the front door. I guess she got tired of it being ripped apart everytime the door was opened, because she moved it aside. Now there are four of them on the front of the house and one living in my Jeep. I don’t mind too much. Everyone needs a place to live.

    Comment by Lesia Valentine — 9/15/2006 @ 9:45 am

  13. eeewwwwwwwwww – ick – eeewwwwwwwwwwww

    s’all I can say – gotta go – I feel creepy now

    Comment by Dennie — 9/15/2006 @ 10:11 am

  14. oooh! congrats! i’m excited for you!
    i just hope they all stay in the garden. =)
    i wonder what poor little male got eaten
    after the mating? haha! or maybe that
    doesn’t happen with this type. spiders
    sometimes have violent mating rituals.

    Comment by cyn — 9/15/2006 @ 10:59 am

  15. I think it’s all very Charlotte’s Web. :-D

    Comment by dink — 9/15/2006 @ 11:44 am

  16. Please tell me the web is outside.

    This post has me laughing uncontrollably. We’re going to have to talk about your affect on me.

    Comment by m.g.tarquini — 9/15/2006 @ 3:22 pm

  17. […] Ballpoint makes you glad that you live in the UK […]

    Pingback by You know they exist but….. « Forward, positively.. — 9/15/2006 @ 3:33 pm

  18. Jen, how did I miss your post? Yes, I did read that about the spider predators—yuck, yuck, YUCK. I’ve got a potential scene from Alien in my own back yard!

    Lesia! You are even more tenderhearted than I am. Are you driving the Jeep? I don’t drive with spiders! We’ve got a bunch of orb weavers spinning webs all over the yard and our front porch. That’s why I like Mrs. Argiope; she keeps her web on that one shrub.

    Sorry, Dennie! But it really is cool, don’t you think?

    Cyn, according to what I read about Argiopes, the male spins a little web near the corner of her web. Must be like having separate bedrooms, hunh? I’ve looked for him but can’t find him.

    Me, too, Dink. But I’m not calling her Charlotte. She hasn’t written me any love letters in her web, so we’re still using formal honorifics.

    M.G., this web is definitely OUTSIDE. I don’t like spiders in the house. Not unh, no way.

    Comment by Bonnie Wren — 9/15/2006 @ 4:36 pm

  19. This has completely freaked me out. EWW!

    Comment by UndoneLady — 9/15/2006 @ 5:56 pm

  20. Once, years ago when I worked in corporate america, we noticed a rather robustly large spider walking across the factory floor! what made it noticeable you might ask…well it was the twenty or so women all standing on top of their rolling chairs…balancing and screaming to high heavens.

    Well one of the so-called spider-slaying men in the group came to our, uh,er their aid. The spider was trapped in a bell jar.

    Now the fun began! The men wanted to examine this predatory trophy, so they slid the jar under a microscope…the kind that swivel for circuitboard work.

    Lo and behold, what made this spider lok so huge-normous was the fact that she was carrying a couple hundred babies on her back.

    Needless to say…the women took an extended break until the pincers of death vacated the premises!

    Comment by Bonnie Calhoun — 9/16/2006 @ 12:13 am

  21. […] A not so pregnant Mrs. Argiope,on 9/10/2006 […]

    Pingback by Ballpoint Wren » Yikes! — 9/22/2006 @ 10:09 am

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