INTERVIEW WITH AN ORB-WEAVING SPIDER
By Chris Williams on August 23, 2017.
Interviewer: Excuse me, Mr. Spider, I’ve been admiring your web. Do you have time for a few words?
Spider: That’s Ms. Spider to you, you don’t think that a male had anything to do with this spectacular web, do you? That’s him over there, that little guy. He’s lucky I haven’t eaten him yet.
Interviewer: Okay then ma’am, tell me about your orb web. Did it take long to make it?
Spider: This is actually yesterday’s web. I’ll take it down and make a new web this evening. The work is never really done, there are always repairs needed. Our webs are pretty tough though. Do you know that one time I even caught a hummingbird!
Interviewer: Wow! Do you stay on your web all the time then? No time off?
Spider: That’s right. I have to be nearby if somebody lands on the web, don’t I? See that silky lump hanging there? That’s lunch, an unlucky yellowjacket caught this morning. That was a real job, trying to wrap it up with silk and avoid the stinger at the same time.
Interviewer: I notice that your web is here on the front porch. Isn’t that kind of unusual?
Spider: It is. Most of my relatives have webs out in the garden but I’m kind of partial to front porches. Those porch lights can really bring in the bugs. I usually make my web about two feet across to take advantage of whatever flies in.
Interviewer: Really! How can you work such a big area by yourself?
Spider: Well, I do have eight eyes you know, but that’s the purpose of these spokes that radiate outward from the center of the web. If something lands anywhere on the web, those spokes send vibrations right to the middle where I’m waiting and tell me just where the victim is located.
Interviewer: It really is an engineering marvel! You must be proud.
Spider: Nobody makes a web like an orb weaver. Some spiders make those scraggly webs that look like a cicada already barreled through them. No symmetry, no sense of line or style. You ever hear of “Charlotte’s Web?” Now that gal had style.
Spider: Speaking of “proud,” did you see my beautiful egg sac? I just finished it.
Interviewer: Huh? Where?
Spider: Right there, up next to the roof of the porch, that round, papery thing. Do you know that there are hundreds of eggs in there! Whew! I’ve always wanted a lot of children though. Unfortunately, I’ll be long gone by the time they appear next spring.
Photo Credit : Pixabay